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News Local News Co-owner of Flonnie's Drive-In dies at 70

Co-owner of Flonnie’s Drive-In dies at 70

Danny Lawson, the co-owner of Flonnie's Drive-In in Huntsville, died Sunday at his Helenwood home, at the age of 70. He had owned Flonnie's, along with his sister, since 1986. He also owned Lawson Excavating for 49 years. A funeral service will be held Wednesday evening at White Rock Baptist Church, and Lawson will be buried at Reed Cemetery on Thursday.

HUNTSVILLE — The co-owner of an iconic mid-county restaurant has died. Danny Lawson, who owned Flonnie’s Drive-In along with his sister, died Sunday at his Helenwood home. He was 70.

Lawson — known as “Dano” — had owned Flonnie’s, which is located at the intersection of Baker Highway and Glasshouse Drive, near the 27/63 intersection, since 1986. He owned the restaurant together with his sister, Loretta Lloyd.

According to a statement from his family, Lawson passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family.

Born William Danny Lawson on Dec. 29, 1950, he was the son of Billy and Flonnie Washam. He was born in Dearborn, Mich.

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As a young man, Lawson established Lawson excavating, which he owned for 49 years. He was part of a business family in the Helenwood-Huntsville area. His father-in-law, Kiefer Goad, owned Goad’s Auto Sales, and his daughter, Dina, married Joe Potter of J&M Grading Division.

In 1986, Lawson and his sister, Loretta, purchased Flonnie’s Drive-In, and turned it into a mid-county icon. Its dining room is tiny, but Flonnie’s has nevertheless been a go-to for lunch and milkshakes for well over a generation. Through its walk-up window, Flonnie’s is known for traditional drive-in favorites like hamburger baskets, dip dogs, fish sandwiches and similar foods.

Flonnie’s nearly sold recently; the site was earmarked for a new Hardee’s franchise. But the franchise was eventually built in Oneida, and Flonnie’s remains open as the Huntsville area’s oldest restaurant. While he worked full time with his excavating business, Lawson was actively involved with the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.

A funeral service has been scheduled for Wednesday evening at White Rock Baptist Church, beginning at 8 p.m. Jim West and Jim Laxton will officiate the service. Visitation will begin at 6 p.m.

Lawson will be laid to rest on Thursday at Reed Cemetery, with a graveside service scheduled for 10 a.m.

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Independent Herald
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