Lawlor, Stan Michael #40 *

Honoured by his family. 

Stan Michael Lawlor
(June 9, 1970 – July 1, 2010)

Stan will always be remembered for his love of history, music, nature and his devotion to his nieces, Brooke and Abby, who are the daughters of his brother, Sean and his wife Lisa.

Following graduation from Scollard Hall, he attended Nipissing University, where he graduated with an Honours Degree in History. He went on to attend the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a Masters degree in History, and wrote his thesis on the founding of Tembec. His Ph.D. studies were cut short, when Crohn’s disease forced him to withdraw from Concordia University and return to North Bay to be close to his family. In his last 15 years, he applied his many talents as a consultant with the family firm of Lawlor & Associates.

Students in his history courses at Nipissing University remember him as a dedicated and promising young professor, who brought music into the classroom, using his talents as a guitarist and singer to teach them about Working Class History, Canadian Frontier Life and a variety of other subjects.

Throughout his life, Stan acquired a love for Trout Lake. From his childhood days at the family home and cottage on Peninsula Road to the last decade of his life, when he spent every possible minute at the family retreat on Hemlock Island, with his parents, Stan and Geri, or at the home of Sean and Lisa just across the lake, Stan learned to love and respect the lake. He was an avid “catch and release” fisherman, spending countless early morning and late evening hours on the lake in a relentless quest for the elusive Muskie. Although he enjoyed catching fish, he often reminded us that it was called fishing and not catching. He really experienced as much enjoyment from fishing as he did from catching. As his nieces Brooke and Abby came along, he cherished the opportunity to share their pleasure at catching rock bass from the dock. On one occasion, he even had the opportunity to share their excitement at catching a three-pound small mouth bass. As the fish squirmed on the dock prior to release, Abby squealed “Stannie, this is crazy.” He never forgot their excitement at catching their first big fish.

Stan’s love for music was legendary. He became an accomplished guitarist and singer, who enjoyed the many hours he spent with his childhood friends at “Waxy’s shack” where they wrote and played music. Among those who shared his joy for music were Jim Harney, Mike Conto, Dean Falconi, Bob Wills, Waxy Belbin and his many musical friends. Their company always gave him a lift when he needed one, to assist in dealing with the many health challenges that he experienced. Just shortly before his death, Stan and Mike Conto finished “The Keys to Three” which was a CD of selections that they had written and produced over the previous decade.

Without a doubt, Stan got the greatest satisfaction from the opportunity he had to share so much time with Brooke and Abby, who adored him as much as he loved them. With them, he was always consistent and unselfishly generous. Whether it was fishing, watching a fishing show, enjoying the thrill of seeing their excitement on Christmas morning, attending their birthday parties, ‘advising’ Sean and Lisa on how to deal most appropriately with the girls, or teaching them about music, Stan took advantage of every opportunity to become a role model and mentor to his two nieces.

As a family, we will always treasure the many lessons that we learned from Stan during his all too short life, as he tested the limits and challenged all of us to reach the high bar he set for both himself and the rest of us. Never one to be modest or lack confidence, one of Stan’s trademark statements, as a teenager, was “It’s good to be the King.”

Upon Stan’s passing, one of Stan’s high school classmates noted that “he had a wonderful, generous spirit, and none of his high school classmates will forget his decency, his buoyant sense of humour or how he pushed the boundaries of fashion, ever elegantly, in our small community. His memory is an inspiration.”