ATHENS Kermit ONeil Lawson, 86, passed from this world at his home on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.Mr. Lawson graduated from Birchwood High School and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Maryland. He served his country for 13 years in the United States Army during both World War II and the Korean War. He received the Bronze Star for meritorious achievements in ground operations against the enemy in Korea.Mr. Lawsons first love was his family, followed closely by his garden. He left a Garden of Eden anywhere he lived. He was a decent, faithful, honest Christian man, church supporter and member of Ladds Chapel Church of God in Guild, Tenn.He was preceded in death by his parents, Nathan and Jessie Cofer Lawson; both sons, Richard Mitchell Lawson and James Phillip Lawson; both sons-in-law, David Scroggins and Steve Carden; siblings, N.L. Lawson, Hazel Burton Boyd, Pauline Moon, Raymond Lawson, Russell Lawson and Fronia Lawson.He is survived by his wife and sweetheart of 57 years, Ruby Wright Lawson. He loved to tell the story of how he told his buddies he would marry her the first time he saw her. Also left to grieve his passing are daughters, Portia Lawson, DNice Carden; grandchildren, Kimberly Scroggins, Sarah Zimmerman and her husband, Tom, Chris Cavalaris and his wife, Jessica; his cherished great-grandchildren, Lily Marcum, Huck Zimmerman, Roan Zimmerman and Benjamin Cavalaris; only surviving sibling, Nora Lawson Newell and her husband, Howard; also many nieces and nephews, several that considered him their father. He was also greatly loved and admired by his wifes entire extended family.Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in the chapel of Fike Funeral Home with the Rev. Mitch Corder and the Rev. Charles Kilgore officiating.Interment will follow in Cofer Cemetery with Joel Robinson, Daniel Kachel III, Adam Kachel, Matthew Kachel, Jason Kilgore and Josh Kilgore serving as pallbearers. The service will conclude with a white dove release ceremony. His family will receive friends from 6-9 p.m. today, Jan. 16, 2013, at the funeral home.The family suggests that you make a donation in Mr. Lawson's name to your favorite church or charity.We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Lawson family guestbook at www.fikefh.com.