Bessie Lawson

  • Died: February 27, 2015
  • Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

The J. F. Floyd Mortuary

235 North Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306

Tel. (864) 582-5451

Tribute & Message From The Family


Mrs. Bessie Hatchette Lawson, 89, went to be with the Lord on Friday, February 27, 2015, at Spartanburg Regional Hospice House. She was born on September 24, 1925, in Spartanburg County and was the youngest of four children. She was the daughter of the late Victor Francis Hatchette and Fannie Morgan Hatchette. She was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Spartanburg.

A celebration of her life will be conducted at 11:00 A.M., Monday, March 2, 2015 at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens Heritage Chapel Mausoleum with the Reverend Rufus Chaneyworth and the Doctor L. H. Buff officiating.

In additions to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, John Jefferson Lawson, Jr., brothers, Richard Hicks Hatchette and Ward Hatchette, and a sister, Eudora H. Howe.

Survivors include three nieces, Barbara H. (Lee) Brouillette, Laurens, SC; Peggy H. Allen, Boiling Springs, SC, Sandra L. Cox, Glenn Springs, SC, a nephew, Richard Hicks Hatchette, Jr., Clinton, SC, and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

When she graduated from Spartanburg High School, she attended Spartanburg Jr. College and then graduated from Winthrop College where she received her B.S. in Math and a minor in French. She first taught one year in Lockhart High School and then taught at Duncan High School (which became District Five High School and then Byrnes High School). The single teachers at Duncan High School lived in the "teacherage" which was a little white clapboard house next to the school. The four teachers living in the "teacherage" had two bedrooms and one bathroom. Those fellow teachers living in the "teacherage" were Evelyn McDonald, Audrey Bowers, and Eileen Keller. These four teachers remained friends for a life-time. While teaching at Duncan High School, she met and married her husband, John Lawson. After teaching at Duncan High School, Bessie next taught math at Spartanburg High School. After Bessie retired from Spartanburg High School, she taught math for 10 years at Spartanburg Methodist College. While teaching at Spartanburg High School, Bessie went to graduate school at Furman University and received her Master's Degree. One of the highlights of Bessie's teaching career came after World War II ended. Through the GI Bill, she taught math to many of the returning soldiers during night classes at the old Duncan High School which became known as the Veterans' High School.

Bessie was a very gifted lady. After her husband, John, died in 1998, Bessie became very active in Oak Grove Baptist Church. Bessie was an accomplished artist and seamstress. Some unused Sunday School class rooms were set up for painting and sewing. Many ladies in the church and outside the church benefited from Bessie's skills and the classes she taught. One of the greatest joys and accomplishments Bessie and these ladies had was making beautiful banners for use in worship and special programs of the church. These banners are a testament to her leadership and work.

The family extends a special thanks to friends Mary Ruth Dunker, Ann and Jerry Bridges, Harold and Jerry Brock, Gary and Sue Cooper, and Rufus and Patricia Chaneyworth. A special thanks goes to Dr. Tonya Washington and the nursing staff on Tower 2 at Mary Black Memorial Hospital, and also to the doctors and entire staff of the Spartanburg Regional Hospice House on Jeff Davis Drive in Spartanburg.

Pallbearers will be M. Bregman Camby, Wayne S. Lidman, Jerry Bridges, Dr. C. Edward Davidson, Rev. Joe Dempsey, and Wilson Bridges. Honorary pallbearers will be Harold Brock and Gary Cooper.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:30 P.M. on Sunday, March 1, 2015, at the home of Mrs. Lawson, 109 Ridgeway Road, Spartanburg, SC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home, 686 Jeff Davis Dr., Spartanburg, SC 29303; Salvation Army, P.O. Drawer 2909, Spartanburg, SC 29304; or Mobile Meals, P.O. Box 461, Spartanburg, SC 29304 or a favorite charity.

Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel