Dr. John F. Lawlor passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 20 surrounded by three of his children, Maeve, Paul and Owen. Dr. Lawlor was born on March 14, 1934, in Dublin, Ireland to Edward Lawlor of New Ross, Wexford and Mary Ireland Lawlor of Enniskerry, Wicklow. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at St. Joseph’s School, Marino, Dublin. Upon graduation, he joined his brothers, Eamon and Paddy, in the Dublin Garda, where his father had been a Sergeant. A gifted rugby player and hammer thrower, Dr. Lawlor attended Boston University on athletic scholarship where he was a three-time NCAA champion in the hammer throw and recipient of the E.Ray Speare award as Scholar Athlete of the Year. His older brother Paddy earned 12 caps as a rugby player for the Irish national team.
While a student at Boston University, Dr. Lawlor met his future wife, Kathleen Margaret Kingston, at the Hampshire House in Boston. Kathleen, from Dorchester, MA, received math degrees from Newton College of the Sacred Heart and Boston College.
Dr. Lawlor competed for Ireland in the 1960 Rome Olympics. Shortly thereafter He and Ms. Kingston married and moved to Silvermines, Ireland, where Dr. Lawlor worked as an exploration geologist. In 1964, he captained the Irish Olympic Team in Tokyo. Afterwards, four of their five children were born in Silvermines and the family moved back to Boston so that Dr. Lawlor could complete his doctorate in Geology at BU, which he received in 1970.
Dr. Lawlor was then hired by Phil Caret, the legendary investor[, to work at Pioneer Asset Management in Boston, MA. Dr. Lawlor spent his entire career at Pioneer as head of natural resources, travelling the world from Papua New Guinea to Eastern Siberia to develop investments in oil and gas, precious metals, diamonds and timber. In the 1990s Dr. Lawlor developed Teberebie Gold Fields, a world class gold mine in Ghana, which the Wall Street Journal noted was a “highly unusual and immensely profitable venture” for an asset management company[ .
Upon his retirement, Dr. Lawlor continued exploration in West Africa and on the Carlin gold trend in northeast Nevada with his sons Paul and Owen, also mining geologists.
Dr. Lawlor donated to many cultural and academic organizations, including Catholic missionary work with Native Americans and in Africa. He was a member of the Arts Club in Dublin, the Boston Athenaeum, the Society of Economic Geologists, the Society of Mining Engineers and the Milton Yacht Club.
Dr. Lawlor was known for his great intellect and culture and had a particular love for Ancient Greek history and literature. He was a fervent admirer of Alexander the Great and enjoyed comparing the various translations of Homer’s Odyssey and Illiad.
He is survived by his sister Marion Shanahan of Dublin, and his five children and five grandchildren, including daughters Mary of Greenwich CT and Maeve of Milton, MA and her daughters Alexandra and Finuala, and sons Paul of Waterville Valley, NH; John of Cary, NC and his daughter Grace; and Owen of Milton, MA and his sons Jack and Eamon.
Relatives and friends invited to attend a Funeral Mass at St. Agatha’s Church, Milton Friday morning at 10:30. Visiting hours omitted. Burial Milton Cemetery.