Florida strawberry growers mourned the death of Charles Lawton, president and founder of Dixie Growers Inc., Plant City, Fla.
The 57-year-old died Jan. 25 from complications from cancer after a long battle with the illness.
The Rushville, Ind., native whose family moved to Florida while in his teens founded Dixie during the early 1980s.
Carolyn Howell, who worked in sales with Lawton, said about 300-400 people paid their respects to Lawton during the Jan. 29 service.
âHe made huge contributions (to the strawberry industry),â she said. âHe loved the business. Itâs sad that during the last couple of years he couldnât be as involved like he was in the past. He loved to work.â
Lawton, who was preceded in death by his mother Elizabeth Tholander; is survived by his wife, Linda Terry Lawton; a son, Charles Jacob Lawton (Kinsey); a father, Edwin Lawton; a stepmother, Liz Lawton; one grandchild and another expected in May; and four sisters.