Mark Lawson, a past president of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce known for his booming voice and friendly nature, died at home in Rochester, N.H. on Aug. 3. He was 60.


Lawson succumbed to pancreatic cancer five months after his diagnosis, according to a family member. He served as president of the chamber in 2003 and 2004. Later, he emceed the weekly coffee club gatherings at Hesperia Christian School.


"Mark made the chamber so personal," said Pastor David Penn, who shared thoughts about Lawson during Friday's coffee event. "He was my first face of the Hesperia Chamber."


In fact, Penn said, Lawson's affability was infectious and effective.


"He made everybody feel they were friends. He would always praise them."


Longtime Hesperia Chamber member Gil Zank was impressed with Lawson's abilities as an event emcee.


"He was good at public speaking," Zank said. "He was a very personable person. He knew how to talk. He was a very nice guy."


Lawson and his wife Rebecca moved from Oak Hills to Rochester, N.H. in 2008 to be closer to their daughter and her family.


He found success in residential real estate in early- to mid-2000s, but the economic downturn changed his fortunes.


"I was thinking things are going to pick up," Lawson said before he left for the East Coast. "But they didn't."


Following the real estate market bust Lawson sold the health drink supplement XanGo and worked for a FISH Window Cleaning franchise.


Lawson was excited about the move.


"The family's there," he said. "There's no reason to be bitter. It's kind of exciting."


Lawson was born in Burbank and raised in Thousand Oaks. He graduated from Newbury Park High School and Pepperdine University. He was a singer in the 1960s band Newbury Park.


He is survived by his wife Rebecca Lawson; son Tim Park; daughter and son-in-law Tess and Gary Howard; and grandchildren Noah, Joshua, Bethany and Priscilla.