William Michael A Lawless

1943 ~ 2021 (age 78)


William Michael A. ("Michael") Lawless, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, passed away on November 30, 2021 at his home surrounded by family. For those who knew our beloved Michael, his wit and joking ways remained with him right up to his last breath. His family and friends will greatly miss his noble and tree-like presence.
Michael is survived by his wife and best friend of over 50 years, Jane B. Lawless; his sons Zachary A. Lawless, Tyrone A. Lawless and his wife Nelie; his grandchildren Taylor and Tarren Lawless; his sisters Evelyn (Kalpita) Lawless, Geraldine Coleman and her husband Jerome; his brother-in-law David Baum and his wife Janet Baum and sister-in-law Vicki Baum Hommes and her husband Charles Hommes. Michael will be fondly remembered by his close family and friends.
Born to Hazel and William Lawless in October 1943, Michael went on to live a vibrant life committed to social causes and the betterment of those less fortunate. In his 78 years, Michael was at the forefront of many pivotal changes that occurred during his lifetime. These included organizing the first Earth Day in (the United States) in 1970; helping develop Park East High School in the New York City public school system in the early 1970s; facilitating therapy groups for domestic abusers in the late 1970s; and the formation of the group work program at the Austin Riggs Center based in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
With a continuous thirst for knowledge, Michael remained a student as well as a teacher his entire life. An avid history enthusiast, Michael loved to explore then share all that he learned with his family and friends. A naturalist by heart, Michael greatly enjoyed the outdoors and wildlife constantly amazing his loved ones with his ability to connect with nature and its inhabitants. He had an uncanny ability to bond with any one he met, developing long lasting relationships with these individuals.
Michael was a true Renaissance man. He was a Procurement Specialist for the Air Force in South Dakota where he became close friends with a group of Lakota people; he trained in Anthropology; moved to the Berkshires and became a carpenter; he even did restoration work at Hancock Shaker Village; he taught in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District and worked for many years at Austin Riggs Center which motivated him to go back to school and get his MSW where he mostly worked with disadvantaged populations.
A celebration of life for Michael Lawless will be held on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at Proprietor's Lodge, 22 Waubeek Road, Pittsfield, Massachusetts from 1-4pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Elizabeth Freeman Center in the name of William Michael Lawless.
Michael will be forever remembered for his humor, lively spirit, and love of family. And while he is no longer with us physically, in the words of the great poet Maya Angelou: "And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms...They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better for they existed." Rest in peace and love William Michael A. Lawless.

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