The Rev. Mr. Lawton Wallace Posey, died Sunday, October 2, 2016, of a stroke at the age of 81.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, July 29, 1935, he was the only child of John J. and Margaret W. Posey. He was named for St. John Alison Lawton, the owner of James Island, S.C., dairy farm where Posey’s father was a managerial employee.
Rev. Posey attended schools in Charleston County, graduating from North Charleston High School. He attended Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. and graduated in 1957 with an A.B. degree in psychology. He received the degree of Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia in 1960. He also attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, specializing in hearing impairment.
Ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, US (now Presbyterian Church, USA) in August, 1960, he served congregations in Virginia and West Virginia. His West Virginia pastorates were at First Presbyterian Church, Welch, and Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Charleston.
Included in his thirty nine years of pastoral service was a twelve year employment at St. Francis Hospital as a Chaplain. He was a board certified Chaplain and a Fellow of the Academy of Parish Clergy.
During his early years in Charleston, he served the Presbytery of West Virginia as a pastoral minister to church professionals. During the early years of Kanawha Hospice Care, he was President for a term and served as chairman of the Executive Committee. Mr. Posey assisted in the development of lay ministry programs, and was mentor and tutor to lay and ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church and the Episcopal Church.
As a seminary student he began writing for publication. This work continued for nearly five decades, as he composed essays and feature articles for many religion related magazines, local newspapers and specialty magazines. He once said “there is no money in it, but lots of fun.”
In retirement, he was guest minister in a number of churches in West Virginia, including not only service to Presbyterian Congregations, but to Lutheran Churches. As an organist and pianist, Lawton gave musical service in Presbyterian congregations despite his lifelong hearing impairment.
His interests included reading history and biography, and exploration of transportation history, planes, trains and cars. In his later years, his hearing failed him, and a cochlear implant enabled him to hear electronically with great satisfaction.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Bridget Louise Maloney Posey, whom he married in 2000. He was previously married to Patricia Ann Maine, mother of their two children, Ann Posey-Herring of Fort Pierce, Fla. and Bryson Reed Posey of Charleston, W.Va. His granddaughter, (daughter of Anne and Marshall Herring) Chloe Herring, is a graduate of University of Fla. in Gainesville. He married Pamela Dawyn Ranson Umberger in 1987. She died after a long illness in 1999.
He also leaves his beloved cousin, Katherine Wallace Seabrook and her husband, William J. Seabrook of John’s Island, S.C.; and many friends and associates.
Funeral service will be 1:30 p.m., Thursday, October 6, at Bollinger Funeral Home, 420 Lee Street West, Charleston, with the Very Reverend Kent Higgins officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday at the funeral home.
The family would like to send a special thank you to his special caregivers, Belinda Lawrence, Rene Hughes, Diane McNeely, Teresa Harrington, Samantha Harmon, Amber Bailey and Rosalie Elkins, for the wonderful care and compassion that was given to Rev. Posey and his family during his illness.