A friend of a friend-Bob Lawing and Mary & Woody Beck-January 13

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about friends of my friends.  The post below is the story on a friend of a friend for January 13, 2015.

Last night some friends from church Mary and Woody Beck hosted a small birthday party for our new minister David Ruth. Mary Beck and my wife are very close having gone to church retreats together and getting together on a weekly basis for prayer.

Woody Beck is a Chiropractor and he has a true family business. They have two children-Lori and Ryan that are Chiropractors. Ryan and Lori spouses are also chiropractors and the name of their business is Beck and Blackley Chiropractor Clinic. They have two offices one in Lumberton and the other in St. Paul’s NC


Woody and Mary were both born and raised in Florida. Woody after completing his service in the US Army, graduated in 1975 from Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa Campus, with Bachelor’s and Doctorate degrees. Woody and Mary moved to Lumberton in 1975 and our community, church, and my family has all been touched since their arrival.

Mary is a very positive lady and it was great to be in their home last night. We talked about the upcoming Football Championship Game and the recent death of ESPN Sports Reporter Stuart Scott.

When the name Stuart Scott was mentioned we discussed the rare type of cancer he died of. Woody started telling me about a Charlotte NC friend/cousin of Mary’s that had battled the same kind of cancer called Appendiceal.

At this part of the story I didn’t know the name of the friend but Woody went on to tell me he was NFL official and had died in 2010. He also told me that Mary’s cousin had met Stuart Scott while seated next to each other on a flight from Philadelphia to Charlotte in 2008.

At this point in the story I was curious on what the NFL official’s name was and was told Bob Lawing. I recognized that name immediately as someone who had refereed my college basketball games when I was the Head Coach at UNC Pembroke and Winthrop. Bob was always first class when he called our games. I was embarrassed that I did not know he had died.

After Woody told me about the connection between Bob and Stuart Scott I immediately went and got Mary and had her tell me the entire story. What I got was more than a coincidence on having the same rare type of cancer. What I learned was two brave men became friends because of shared battle they had to fight.

The Friend-MARY BECK and her Family

beck chiropractic-family

The Friend of the Friend-BOB LAWING

Bob LawingBob Lawing II

The Friend of the Friend of the Friend-STUART SCOTT

Stuart Scott

The Beck’s story on Bob Lawing and Stuart Scott friendship –told by Mary Beck

Bob Lawing was a special cousin of mine. He was always fit and full of life. It was a real tragedy when he passed away in 2010. Bob had a rare type of cancer appendiceal that only affects 600 to 1,000 Americans each year.

I want to tell you a little about Bob. He graduated from Charlotte’s East Mecklenburg High School and N.C. State University. He went into his family business as a realtor and certified property manager. The family company was T. R. Lawing Realty and he worked there for 36 years.

Bob was an Eagle Scout, and believed in community service. He attended Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church where he served as youth counselor, chair of the board of trustees, lay speaker, and Sunday school teacher for more than 20 years.

Bob had a wonderful wife named Nanette and they were married 35 years. They had a daughter named Ashley who is married to a HS Football Coach named Matt Beam and a son Wes.

Bob was always a sportsman and his true love was officiating.

At the age of 14, he volunteered as a little league umpire in the Myers Park Trinity Little League program and continued in college to earn spending money officiating volleyball, football and basketball games in the N.C. State University Intramural Department. Bob was a N.C. High School football & basketball official for more than 20 years, Big South and ACC basketball official for 10 years and Southern Conference football official for seven years.

He joined the ACC football staff in 1992 and worked three bowl games before joining the National Football League (NFL) as back judge No. 17 in 1997 where he worked six playoff games over the next 12 seasons.

In 2008 he had been diagnosed with the cancer and was flying home to Charlotte from a game in Philadelphia. He was seated next to Stuart Scott. The two began talking and found out that each had the same type of appendiceal cancer. That chance encounter turned into a friendship.

There was a great story written by Cody Dalton on January 5, 2015 that described the relationship between Bob Lawing and Stuart Scott. The link is below. It is a great read.


I can only think that last Sunday NFL game between Dallas and Green Bay and the ruling by the NFL officials that Dez Bryant did not make a catch had Bob Lawing the official telling Stuart Scott the reporter the official’s call is “Like gravy on a biscuit it is all good”.

We miss Bob and I know Stuart Scott made a great choice in a friend.



  1. Great blog!!!

  2. Jeff Neelon · · Reply

    I’m hoping David Ruth doesn’t read my story It is getting lower and lower on the quality scale

    Sent from my iPhone


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