Secret Service agent Winston Lawson has passed away 11/7/19
I spoke to Lawson in 1992 and corresponded with him a few times in 2003. He was the lead advance agent for the Dallas trip (Clint Hill’s brother in law, David Grant, was his assistant). Lawson told me that it never came to his attention that President Kennedy ever requested that the agents not ride on the rear of the limousine. Lawson was responsible for the limited number of motorcycles next to JFK’s limousine.
With Lawson’s passing, that leaves just Clint Hill and Paul Landis alive representing agents in the motorcade.
Agents Walt Coughlin, Ron Pontius, Gerald Blaine, Robert Burke, Bill Duncan and Ken Giannoules are still alive (they were on other parts of the Texas trip).
Winston G. Lawson, 91, of Virginia Beach died Thursday at Lake Taylor Transitional Hospital in Norfolk. He was born in western New York to Cecile Lawson (nee Post) and Merle Lawson. After graduating from high school in Buffalo he headed at age 16 to the University of Buffalo, graduating in 4 years with a History and Government degree. While at UB he met Barbara Barrett, who was the younger sister of his fraternity brother. They married in 1950. During the Korean War he served in Army Counterintelligence. After the war he used that experience to join the United States Secret Service where he served under 7 Presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan. Some of his favorite memories are from his time guarding Vice Presidents Humphrey and Agnew. After a long and distinguished career in which he rose to Acting Assistant Director he retired and went on to serve another 10 years with the intelligence community. Following that career he worked for Reverends Billy and Franklin Graham doing security around the world. In addition to his careers of service he volunteered for numerous organizations like Meals on Wheels, Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, Samaritans Purse, and others. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara; daughter, Andrea (Don); son, Jeff (Denise); brother, Merlin (Nina); grandchildren, Matthew, Reid, Rhianna, Riley, Matt S., Emma, and Brandon, and several beloved nieces and nephews.