A Tribute to Jerry Lawson, Founder of the Insider News Publications
Jerry Maggard Lawson, of Covington, Georgia, passed away Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at Emory University Hospital at the age of 79. He was born to Charles R. and Louise (Newton) Lawson and was extremely proud of being a seventh generation Texan.
Jerry began his newspaper career in 1962 after being discharged from the Army. His first job was with the Tyler Courier Times in Tyler, TX. From there he took a job with Harte Hanks Newspapers in Marshall, TX, then on to the Dallas Morning News in Dallas, TX.
In 1969, he started his own publications company representing the durable goods industry. When he got ready to mail out his first newspaper, he had 35 cents in his pocket. One customer believed in him so much they gave him a check on the spot to cover the ad they had placed, enabling him to mail out the newspaper and the rest is history. His publishing career was on its way.
Jerry eventually focused his publications on the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) industry. He built the HVAC & Refrigeration Insider into the industry’s most widely circulated trade publication and the only source for industry information combining a national reach with a regional presence for local markets.
Jerry was well traveled and well read. He loved exploring, being in the woods, and going to the Florida Keys scuba diving. One of his favorite places was being home at Red Oak Ranch entertaining his friends and loved ones and taking care of animals.
His memory will forever be cherished by his loving wife of 40 years, Cynthia Van Vynckt Lawson of Covington, GA; children, Suzanne Hill (Mike) of Atlanta, GA, Renee Lawson (Scooter Garmon) of Taylorsville, NC; Charles “Chuck” Lawson (Melanie) of Centennial, CO, and William Lewis (Meghann) of Valrico, FL; eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The HVAC industry has lost a pioneer in disseminating trade news and information and Jerry’s contributions will be greatly missed. Cynthia Van Vynckt Lawson, Jerry’s wife and CFO of the company has been an integral part in operating the business and has assumed the role of guiding it into the future.