Centralia Street Dedicated To Willie Lawson

July 16, 2013

A dedication ceremony was held last Saturday in Centralia for the honorary street naming of Willie Lawson Way. Mr. Lawson was known throughout the state of Illinois and beyond as a lifelong civil rights advocate and community leader. His distinctive voice and demeanor will be remembered by all who knew him. In his lifetime, he assisted many individuals, especially Centralians, in making a better life for themselves, many on an ongoing one-on-one basis. The ceremony was conducted at the corner of Rhodes and McKee Streets, at his childhood home. Speakers included Bruce Currie, Joel Brooks, Mayor Tom Ashby, City Manager Dan Ramey, Community Development Director Allison

Austin, his widow Brenda Lawson and his 97-year-old mother Francis Lawson. His mother summed it up when she said, “This makes me feel good, to know that my son was well thought of in this town. Willie did a lot for this town.”