David Lawful, vice chair of the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District Board of Directors, died in his sleep on May 10 at the age of 69.
Outside of his role on the board, Lawful was a father, husband, passionate cyclist and avid poker player, according to his obituary.
According to the district's bylaws, any vacancy occurring on the board shall be filled by a vote of the remaining board members, with the appointee to serve until the next biennial election. The appointed individual must meet the statutorily prescribed qualifications for board members, the bylaws state.
In an email to Colorado Community Media, Board Treasurer Ken Lucas wrote that Executive Director Rob Hanna is meeting individually with board members to discuss the process and timeline for filling Lawful’s seat.
In a separate email, Hanna wrote that the district is working with its legal counsel regarding the appointment process, which the board will discuss at a future meeting.
Lawful’s death came shortly before South Suburban’s deadline to certify results from the May 2 board election, which was held to fill the seats of Jim Taylor and Ken Lucas. According to unofficial results, Ken Lucas was re-elected and Pam Eller was elected. The district said results will be certified no later than May 16.
Lawful is survived by his wife, two sons, brother and many friends.
“He was a solid individual that spoke his mind and we respected what he said,” Frank Ryan, one of Lawful’s friends, wrote in an email to Colorado Community Media. “David was very gracious and would help anytime I asked. He ‘leaned into’ a friendship and there was no guessing about how David felt.”
After a 40-year career as an aerospace engineer, Lawful retired and gave time back to his community through South Suburban and volunteer work with Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit that works to make biking safer and more accessible for Coloradans.
“(Lawful’s) attitude was always positive and he showed genuine respect to those with whom he interacted,” Steve Lowry, one of Lawful’s friends, wrote in an email to CCM. “There was no hidden agenda with Dave - he was not out for personal gain but only to make the groups he worked with more efficient and productive.”
Joe Westerdale, another friend, said Lawful gave his community “a wonderful example of how to live.”
“When you had a conversation with David, you knew that you always had his full attention and consideration, which may have been why he was so well liked by nearly everyone he came in contact with,” Westerdale wrote. “He was one of the more genuine and unpretentious individuals I have come across in my seventy-one years on this planet.”
A celebration of Lawful’s life will be announced at a later date at https://feldmanmemorial.com/tribute/details/4734/David-Lawful/obituary.html.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Bicycle Colorado and The Hudson Gardens Event Center.
Editor's note: This story was updated on May 15 at 2 p.m. with more information about upcoming meetings regarding a new appointment.