Obituary for Emily Geneva Lawton

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On Saturday, July 7, Emily Lawton passed peacefully in her sleep at Bethany St. Joseph’s Care Center. Born on December 15, 1913, the oldest daughter, to James and Julie (Larson) Bufton in the Village of La Farge. Emily left home at an early age to assist in supporting her family. She went to the Normal Schools in Viroqua and La Crosse and became a teacher. She taught in one room schoolhouses on Buckeye Ridge, Oak Ridge and Maple Ridge.
In 1937, she married Orval A. Lawton in the Little Brown Church in Iowa. They lived in Stoddard, WI and Winona, MN before setting in La Crosse, WI. They had two children, Carolyn (Lawton) Weidner and Charles Lawton. Emily eventually resumed her career, becoming a key punch operator at Trane Company where she worked for 27 years. Her retirement job was working for a local ceramic ornament maker for 13 years, dipping ceramics from home.
In January of 1987, she lost her son Charles. Later that year, in September, she lost her husband, Orval.
She lived in her home until weeks prior to her 100th birthday. She remained independent and self-sufficient as long as her health allowed.
At the time of her passing, she was both the oldest living graduate of Vernon County Normal School and La Farge High School.
She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Weidner and her grandchildren, Lane Weidner, Ann Weidner, Leah (John) Schimon and Samantha (Mark) Jackson; 6 great grandchildren- Vanessa, Chauncey, Kira, Kai, Lana and Alexander; 2 great-great grandchildren- Selene and Liam. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Darlene Thelen.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Orval Lawton and her son, Charles Lawton, her brothers and sisters, who nicknamed her ‘Babe’- Earl Bufton, Lilian Voss, Mildred Witt, Glen Bufton, James Bufton, Jr. and Loris Legler.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 11 beginning at 12:00N at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse. Services to follow at 1:00 with the entombment upon completion at Woodlawn Cemetery. Information and online condolences may be given to the family at
A special thank you to the wonderfully caring staff at Bethany St. Jo’s who were with her through her final hours.