Russell Lawler

Died: Thu., Jun. 4, 2020


9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, Thu., Jun. 11, 2020
Location: Saint Patricks

Funeral Mass

10:00 AM Thu., Jun. 11, 2020
Location: Saint Patricks

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Russell Lawler, of South Bend, Indiana, age 67, passed away peacefully on June 4, 2020. He is survived by his children Russell (Helen), Jennifer, Kimberly, and Katie (Mark); his siblings Patricia (Michael) Armelin, James (Claire) Lawler, Michael Lawler, Thomas (Jody) Lawler, and his brothers-in-law Richard Burgess and Paul Cholis; three grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents James and Jeanne Lawler and sisters, Jeanne Burgess and Susan Cholis.


Following the example set by his father, who owned the Teeter GMC dealership in Russ’ earlier years, Russ enjoyed a long career with Gates Chevrolet in South Bend/Mishawaka and Tom Naquin in Elkhart. Russ was deeply appreciative of his relationship with the Gates and Naquin families. In a letter from Thad Naquin to his employees upon learning of Russ’s death, he explained Russ’ approach to his customers by saying “Russ never really sold cars – he gave roses to many.” Russ will also be fondly remembered for his dedicated care provided to his mother in her later years, his quiet generosity with many people, and his genuine care and concern for others.


Visitation will be held at 9a.m. on Thursday, June 11, at St. Patrick’s Church in South Bend, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10am. Welsheimer Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Family and friends may leave email condolences at


Charitable donations may be made in Russell's memory to the following organization:

Please consider offering a mass in memory of Russell Lawler at St. Patrick's or St. Anthony's church

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Condolence Booklet

Larry Gates
   Posted Mon June 08, 2020
Russ was a wonderful, caring, hard working man. So sorry to learn of his passing. Surely he will be missed by many but most of all his family.

Damian Dieter
   Posted Mon June 08, 2020
I enjoyed having Russell as a patient. He was gentle and kind. Rest in Peace my friend.

Marcia Ellen Blum
   Posted Mon June 08, 2020
We met Russ through Tom Naquin Chevrolet.
He helped with each new car we bought and always followed through to help drive our car from Granger to Elkhart for service.
Russ made us feel that we mattered . He liked people and had a twinkle in his eye when he talked .
Most recently , he noticed that we had a death in the family and took the time to write us a note .
We are sad --the X-Mas card we sent him came back to us --we tried calling him and his voice mail was full .
Wish he knew that we tried to reach him .
He was a good , hard working man who cared.
Prayers for you his family .
Marcia and Tom Blum

Janice Johnson
   Posted Mon June 08, 2020
My sympathies in the passing of Russ. My husband,Jim Johnson, had worked with Russ at Gates and Naquins. They had many stories to tell. He passed last year and I know this would have been upsetting to him. I also had the pleasure of meeting Russ and he was a very kind, giving person. My prayers to the Lawler family. God Bless.

Janice Johnson

Daphne & Andy Chang Teo
   Posted Tue June 09, 2020
We are very sorry to hear of Russell's passing. We are friends of his son, and daughter-in-law, Helen.

We are writing this note from NY, and wanted to send our deepest sympathies to the family.

Laura Shumate
   Posted Tue June 09, 2020
I had the pleasure of working with Russ for many years and always enjoyed talking with him, he was very kind and thoughtful and always willing to help out when needed. I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. He will truly be missed.

Barbara Poehlman Colwell
   Posted Thu June 11, 2020
I met Russ at the hospital. I told him, I had gone to high school with his brother Tom. Russ was just the friendliest & kindest person from that moment on. My prayers to his family.