Hugh Lawrence Passes Away

Photo by Pat Lawrence

Hugh G. Lawrence died on April 30 at his home on A Dock at age 89. A fourth generation Northern Californian, Hugh moved to A Dock when it was first built in 1978, in a redwood home he had designed and built on a surplus WWII sand barge. According to his widow Pat, that structure received the first floating home building permit from the County of Marin.

With a law degree from Golden Gate University Law School, Hugh was an active lawyer for fifty years. He served on the Sausalito Planning Commission, ran for City Council and the school board. He helped both Don Arques and George Kappas to obtain the multitude of planning permits over many years to make floating homes legal, forging a specialized knowledge of the complexities of waterfront “mud law” in the process. Then he worked on the sale of the Arques property to Lou Cook and helped negotiate the WPH tenant leases.

Hugh also was one of the perpetrators of the famous prank in which first a picture of a daisy and then a fake Gauguin were hung from an abandoned drydocks anchored off Sausalito. He was an avid sailor who raced on his own PIC and other boats, and sailed to Hawaii.

A memorial service was held at his home, including the reading of John Masefield’s poem “Sea Fever,” with its immortal opening line: “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky.”