Lawrence Caison’s life was one of service.
We used that as our headline in the story about Caison in Tuesday’s paper, and we say it again today because no truer words have ever been spoken about a human being.
In everything Caison did, service was his mantra, that and a complete loyalty to his family and friends and to the city — and the county — he loved with all his heart.
He had a giving spirit, and whether it was serving his country in the U.S. Navy, rolling up his shirtsleeves to help his beloved Lions Club as its treasurer or taking great interest in Clinton and ways to improve it as a long-time member of the Clinton City Council, Lawrence Caison gave 150 percent.
He was the same way in business. Shrewd and industrious, Caison embodied an entrepreneurial spirit, easily recognized in the businesses — Caison Brothers Building Supply, Hargrove’s Men Shop, Quick Way Stores and Caison Family Mart — in which he had a hand in developing and helping to flourish.
During his six-term tenure on Clinton’s City Council, Caison, along with his colleagues, was responsible for monumental and positive changes within the city, including the expansion of City Hall, the purchase and renovations to both the Wall Street fire station and the current police department, as well as the construction of the Bellamy Center at Royal Lane Park.
With one eye to advancement and the other always on city coffers, Caison knew how to get things done in the city without overburdening the taxpayers.
As current mayor Lew Starling so aptly put it, “Mr. Caison was dedicated to the city, took great interest in it and always was a true steward of the taxpayers money. The recent successes of our community can be directly attributed to his service on the City Council and building a good foundation for the town.”
Caison, along with other long-time councilman like Albert Kaleel, Tommy Turlington and former mayor Emsley Kennedy, had a visionary approach to moving Clinton forward, and many of the things citizens love about this great city today lead right back to those great men.
They were leaders who saw needs and worked to get them fixed, and we are all reaping the rewards of their tireless efforts.
As we remembered Caison and those he served with on the council that have all now passed away, we must reiterate something we often stress from this page — a call to service, a following of the example set by great men like Caison who understood that their calling was to give back to their community some of that which they had been blessed to receive.
Too often in today’s world, we are afraid that the civic-minded spirit of the Lawrence Caisons of the world doesn’t run as deep as it once did.
Our charge is that others will continue to pick up the torch of service lighted by men like Caison and carry it forward, becoming the example to future generations that Caison was to ours.
He will be greatly missed by the family he cherished, the friends he held dear and the community that owes him a debt of gratitude for being a man with a servant’s heart.