September 25, 2023

Charles Gilmer Lawson "Powder" age 89, passed into eternal peace at his home on Saturday, September 23, 2023, surrounded by his family. 

Powder was born in Big Stone Gap, the son of the late Earl Lawson and Dona (Townsend) Baker; he was the oldest of seven children. In his younger life, with a true patriot spirit, Powder answered the call of his country. He enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, serving tours in Korea, as well as Vietnam before his retirement from the Air Force. When returning stateside, he began employment with Fraley’s Inc., serving as the human resource and safety director with a family-owned coal mining business in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He enjoyed anything that supported children. He enjoyed traveling to watch Union-Powell Valley in any sport they competed in. He was a fan of anyone who was playing Tennessee. Powder loved hunting and traveled great distances to enjoy the outdoors. Powder was also a member of the local Masonic Lodge where he achieved the rank of Grandmaster. Another organization that Powder was a member of was the National Wild Turkey Federation. He was a "salt of the earth” American who was proud of his God, country, and family. Of all the organizations and community involvement he pursued, none was comparable to the love he had for his family. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Powder will be deeply missed by all those that knew him. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his four siblings, Margaret Feltner, Ruby Coffey, Nancy Kilgore, and Douglas Lawson. 

Left to cherish his memories, wife, Emma Carter Lawson, two sons, Charlie Earl Lawson and wife Laura, J.D. Lawson, grandson, Charles Arlie Lawson, brother Johnny Lawson, and sister Betty Butler, his hunting buddies, a host of nieces, nephews, and cherished friends too many to count. 


The family will receive friends on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at Holding Funeral Home in Big Stone Gap, from 5-8 p.m. for the visitation. The funeral service will be conducted at 8:00 p.m. with Dr. Nick Brewer officiating. A eulogy will be given by Jerry Fraley, special music will be provided by Betty Brock and grandson Arlie Lawson. The local Masonic Lodge # 208 will have a last masonic service for Powder. 

His interment in Riverview Cemetery will be held on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.

There will be a procession at Holding Funeral Home that will depart for the cemetery at 10:30 a.m. The Local Dav, and VFW will have a military committal service. 

The pallbearers will be family and friends. 


An online registry is available for the family at


Holding Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Charles Gilmer Lawson "Powder"