CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
January 27, 1954 - March 28, 2021
Dr. Lawton R. Grier 67, passed away on Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Dr. Lawton Renard Grier was born on January 27, 1954, in Winston Salem, North Carolina to the late Jack
Lawton Langford and Theresa Grier. Lawton peacefully transitioned after a brief illness from this earthly
place of life to his eternal home on March 28, 2021.
Lawton attended schools in Winston Salem (Forsyth County) where he played in the high school band
and ran track. He continued to be the brainiac that he was by attending not only one school but several
others before receiving his doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. He attended undergrad at Grambling University in Louisiana (Grambling’s Marching Band) and
Winston Salem State University in North Carolina where he continued to master his operatic talent
receiving a band scholarship for his aptitude of music. Lawton’s Master of Arts degree was earned at the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
During his studies at Grambling University, Lawton was initiated into the Gamma Gamma Chapter of
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on November 30, 1973 and was the only person on his line, earning him
the name the ‘Lone Dog.’ Lone Dog (Lawton) was a lifetime member of the fraternity and was involved
with the fraternity’s Talent Hunt Program, Lawton was the co-Chair of the Talent Hunt Committee for
several years, and the step team. He was also a proud member of and sang with the Pi Phi Ensemble for
many years. Although the Lone Dog earned his name through his fraternity, he was also referred to as
Jeremiah and Josiah’s “Paw Paw”, or Rico to family and close friends; and many of us who knew the Lone
Dog well, earned the name Blanche (male or female). Why? It was Lawton’s humor that made us laugh
until our bellies hurt; and we were just his ‘BLANCHE.’
Lawton was an active member and servant of the Park Church under the leadership of Bishop Claude
Alexander. His tenure at the church was not just worshipping by sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings
but using his gifts by singing on the men’s church choir, tutoring, volunteering, and attending bible study.
Lawton was employed with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) system for 32 years. His love for
educating students, coupled with his drive to make certain ‘no child was left behind’, helped him serve in
positions that included: band teacher, assistant principal (Coulwood, Alexander Graham and Sedgefield
Middle Schools), principal (Starmont and Billlingsville Elementary Schools) and later retiring as a CMS
district hearing officer. Although Lawton retired, he felt it a disservice to sit idle and not use his
educational talents. Lawton’s passion led him to accept a job as Director of a local tutoring company,
and more recent, Director of A More at Four program in Charlotte NC.
Dr. Lawton Grier leaves a legacy behind as being a jokester, kind-hearted, mentor and friend to all who
knew him. Lawton is preceded in death by his parents and a brother Darrell Bancroft Langford. He
leaves to mourn his memory one son Eric Wesley Grier, two grandchildren Jerimiah and Josiah Grier,
three brothers Terrence D Langford (Sheila), Ronald Lee Langford, and Kevin Miguel Langford. Special
nieces and nephews, Dominique Harvin-Jones (Diante), Terrika Stewart, Theresa Little, Chianti Mitchell
Harris(Lincoln), Keon Stokes (Twanna), Travis Nichols, Latavia Melton, Daniel Davis, and a host of great
nieces, nephews, and cousins. A void in friendship are those friends who are more like family, Dr.
Cynthia Hampton, Dr. Sheila IJames, Dr. Alton B. Byrd, Virginia Watson, Larry and Jill Durinick, Maggie
Staton, Celia Brandon-Phelan, and Phyllis Price. To all the friends that are too many to mention, please
charge it our hearts if we missed you.
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