Cover photo for Edward W Lawless, Ph.D.'s Obituary
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1931 Edward 2021

Edward W Lawless, Ph.D.

April 9, 1931 — December 6, 2021

Edward William Lawless completed his lifes work on December 6, 2021. There will be a Vigil Service at 6:00pm, Friday December 10th at St. Elizabeths Catholic Church, 75th and Main, Kansas City, MO, followed by visitation until 8:00 pm. There also will be a Visitation from 9:30 until 10:00am on Saturday, December 11th, at St. Elizabeths followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00am. Internment in St. Bartholomews Cemetery, Murrayville, IL. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Catholic Charities or a charity of ones choice.
Ed was born April 9, 1931 in Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL, second son of James Thomas and Monica Helen (Riley) Lawless, and was raised on their farm near Murrayville. He attended the 1-room Oak Hill Grade School, Murrayville High School and Routt Catholic High School. He received his Bachelors Degree, 1953, from Illinois College. Ed served in the U.S. Army, 1953-55 and rose in 21 months to the rank of Sergeant. He spent 14 months in Germany in a Field Artillery unit. He then earned his Ph.D. degree (chemistry major) at the University of Missouri - Columbia in February, 1960. He married Virginia Dare Fulton of Oran, MO on June 6, 1959 in St. Charles, MO and they enjoyed 56 years together and had six children.
Ed joined Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, MO as an Associate Chemist in 1959 and served variously over 33 years as Senior Advisor and 12 years as Section Head of multi-disciplinary groups. During this period, he was author or co-author of over 30 technical publications and government reports, primarily on chemical technology and its regulation. He was author of Technology and Social Shock and co-author of books on high energy oxidizers and fuels. He was an invited participant at conferences in Japan, India, Italy, France, Canada and the U.S. He noted he had been in or flown over 47 of the 50 states.
Ed was a member of: International Association for Impact Assessment (President, 1983), American Chemical Society, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ancient Order of Hibernians; and formerly a member of: American Association for Advancement of Science, Research Society of America, Society for Risk Analysis and World Future Society. He was awarded an honorary D. Sc. degree from Illinois College. In retirement, Ed served for over 12 years as an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Penn Valley Community College and was listed in Whos Who of American Teachers.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Virginia, 2015; son, Paul Dwight Lawless, 1979; brother Paul Thomas Lawless; sister-in-law, Patricia Cooney Lawless. He is survived by: daughter, Donna Noreen Newell (Charles) and sons Kevin William, Vincent Allen, Sean James and Patrick Edward (Valerie) Lawless; grandchildren Virginia Jane Newell and child Jayden Williams and Paul John Lawless; brother, Donald James Lawless; nieces and nephew, Julie Erin, Paula Susan and James Owen Lawless; grand niece and nephew Patricia Lawless-Brown and Noah Green; step-granddaughter Crystal Newell Bernhardy (William) and children Isaac, Edward, Michaelia and Gracie.
Ed enjoyed sports and played fast-pitch softball for over 40 years. He ran an intramural boys basketball program at St. Elizabeths Parish for several years. He enjoyed history, visiting museums with Virginia and the children and four visits to Ireland. His research on family histories and genealogy was appreciated. His philosophy was: "Do all the small things well, and the bigger things will pretty much take care of themselves." He was fond of telling his students: "As near as I can tell, the universe is unfolding about the way its supposed to."
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Shawnee P.A.R.C., Harbor Hospice, Research Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital for their loving care of Edward.
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SERVICES Visitation
Friday, December 10, 2021 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church 2 E 75th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64114
Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, December 11, 2021 10:00 AM
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church 2 E 75th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64114

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edward W Lawless, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

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