Donald J. Lawton, police officer, Secret Service agent
By — Emily Langer,April 16, 2013
Donald J. Lawton, 79, who served in the D.C. police department and the U.S. Secret Service during a four-decade career, died April 5 at his home in Annandale.
He had cancer, said his nephew Howard Shea.
Mr. Lawton was a police officer from 1957 to 1972 and a Secret Service agent from 1962 to 1982. He remained associated with the Secret Service as an independent contractor through 1996.
Donald James Lawton was born in Newport, R.I., and served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956. His memberships included the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service.
His marriage to Norma Lawton ended in divorce. He had no immediate survivors.
SAM SULLIMAN’S BROTHER
Fifty Years Later, Recalling `Sully’
April 24, 2001|By BILL LEUKHARDT; Courant Staff Writer
NEW BRITAIN — George “Sully” Sulliman was a 24-year-old Yale University graduate when a bullet ended his life 50 years ago today.
Sulliman died on a barren Korean hill while rallying his badly outnumbered Marines against charging Chinese troops.
On Monday, nearly 200 people, including many of his childhood pals, gathered to remember the long-dead first lieutenant.
“It’s a great turnout,” said Joseph Rao, who knew Sulliman a half-century ago. “There’s a lot of guys here from our old Belvidere neighborhood.”
The crowd met at a stone monument that Sulliman’s grieving neighbors erected off Stanley Street only a few months after his death.
“He was a man of great courage and a young man of enormous potential,” said U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-6th District, one of a half-dozen officials to speak.
Some told of Sulliman’s outstanding scholarship and athletic abilities at both New Britain High School and Yale. Others touched on his natural gift of leadership and his engaging, nurturing personality.
Among the reflections was a letter to the Sulliman family from former President George Bush, a World War II veteran and Yale classmate of Sully’s. Bush was the captain of the Yale baseball team that featured Sully as shortstop.
“I’m sorry that Barb and I couldn’t attend today. Sully is a hero in the truest sense of the word,” Bush wrote. “Sully and I were scared kids when we enlisted, but we knew what we had to do.”
Sam Sulliman, a retired U.S. Secret Service agent, told the crowd about the last time he saw his older brother — two days before George’s death. Both were serving in the military in Korea and had met in an officer’s tent for supper.
His brother loved the military and its focus on teamwork, he said. The younger Sulliman has an oil portrait of George in his Marine uniform.
“His portrait rests in a place of honor in my home,” Sam Sulliman said. “If George had lived, maybe he would have stayed in the Marine Corps and risen to a high rank.”
On the fringes of the crowd was Patricia Bielinski of New Britain, there with her three preteen sons.
“My father is a Korean War veteran. I think it’s important for my children to know the cost of freedom,” Bielinski said, as the oldest son, Adam, eagerly examined a shiny shell casing he’d retrieved from a blank fired minutes earlier by a Marine honor guard. “Still, as a mother, I sure hope none of my children have to go to war. ”
Jun. 6, 1908
Nov. 13, 1999
Son of Luis Benavides and his wife, Maria. He was also a descendant of Gen. Hamilton P. Bee through his marriage to Andrea Martinez.
San Antonio Express News
November 19, 1999
Luis M. Benavides: Secret Service agent Benavides dies
Services are set Saturday for Luis M. Benavides, believed to be the first Hispanic United States Secret Service operative, later called agent, who protected Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson. Benavides, 91 died of cancer last Saturday in Maryland.
He was working at a law firm in Laredo when he was recruited in 1932 to work as a stenographer with the Secret Service in San Antonio, said Barney Boyett, a Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio office from 1979 to 1984.
He was hired as a clerk, but he only worked one or two days before he was told to go buy himself a gun and begin working cases, Boyett said. Stenographers made $1,800 a year, but Secret Service operatives were paid $2,300 a year, so he made a move real fast.
The Secret Service had been around nearly seven decades by the time Benavides joined it. One of the oldest Federal investigative law enforcement agencies in the United States the Secret Service was founded in 1865 as a branch of the United States Treasury Department.
At first Secret Service operatives, who were not called agents until 1936, investigated counterfeit United States currency. It wasn’t until 1901 after the assassination of President McKinley in Buffalo, New York that the Secret Service was assigned to protect the President.
Besides protecting the President, Vice President, their families and other officials the Secret Service investigates credit card fraud, computer fraud and forgery and theft of United States Treasury checks or bonds.
Boyett who interviewed Benavides extensively for an oral history said in those days the agency did not provide cars for its agents.
Mr. B told me he would take a bus or a train and once he even hitchhiked to one of those places in the Rio Grande Valley to work cases, Boyett said. In Puerto Rico he had to rent a horse and ride on horseback, because there were no roads where he needed to go.
Benavides’ first assignment protecting a President occurred in May 1937 when Roosevelt traveled to Galveston and Brownsville. Other Benavides protectees included Vice President John Nance Garner.
Benavides, who became special agent in charge of the San Antonio office in 1954 also worked the San Antonio leg of President John F. Kennedy’s last trip before he was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Benavides retired from the Secret Service in December 1965, but spent a year in Peru working as a consultant for the Agency for International Development. He returned to San Antonio and did work as a document examiner and handwriting expert.
He is survived by his wife, Ferol; a son of Dayton, Ohio; a daughter of Severna Park, Maryland; a sister, Mary Mogas; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8PM today at Sunset Funeral Home at 1701 Sunset Highway. Services will be held at 11AM Saturday at Sunset Funeral Chapel, with burial at Sunset Mausoleum II.
Ferol Elizabeth Perkins Benavides (1910 – 2005)
Sunset Memorial Park