Friday funeral for Hayden soldier

Craig soldier injured in Iraqi ambush that killed Lawton

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Funeral services for Staff Sgt. Mark Anthony Evans Lawton will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Extension Building at the Routt County Fairgrounds, 365 S. Poplar St., in Hayden.

Lawton, 41, was an Army Reservist serving with the 244th Engineer Battalion in Iraq. Lawton died Friday when his unit was ambushed north of As-Suaydat, Iraq, about 40 miles northeast of Baghdad. Four others were injured when the unit was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Also among the injured was Tyler McWilliams of Craig. McWilliams was serving in Lawton's unit but received only minor injuries, said his sister, Suprena Crawford.

Lawton had combat experience in Desert Storm. Family members said he volunteered for the mission in Iraq because he thought he could help younger recruits.

Lawton was deployed in February.

Lawton's remains were flown from Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Del., to Denver International Airport on Wednesday, Maj. Curtis Carney said.

Interment at Hayden Cemetery on South Shelton Lane will follow the funeral service. A reception for family and friends will be at the Holloway/Lawton Ranch after the interment.

Lawton leaves behind a wife, Sherri, and two boys, Dustin, 4, and Tanner, 1. A memorial fund benefiting the family has been established at First National Bank of the Rockies. Donations can be made at any of the bank's locations, including Oak Creek, Hayden and Craig. Call 276-3731.

In Steamboat Springs, donations can be made at KBCR studios at the corner of Mount Werner Road and U.S. Highway 40.

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