Cover photo for Mary Sue Dawson's Obituary
Mary Sue Dawson Profile Photo
1969 Mary 2021

Mary Sue Dawson

December 31, 1969 — October 7, 2021

On October 7, 2021 our lovely mother began her final journey. A journey she prepared for her whole life. Her Lord took her home and freed her from her pain and suffering. She has finally found the peace she so deserved.

Mom was born March 11, 1929 to Pearl & Hiram Presnell in Craigmont, Idaho. Her life was filled with nine brothers, one sister, and lots of love. One brother died shortly after birth, which was the first of many losses. Mom was born strong and resilient, and she remained that way until her last day. Mom loved her life on the farm. She was a talented storyteller who shared so many great stories that we will treasure forever. Mom has always attributed her love of God, family, and hard work to her mother, Pearl, who was such a pillar of strength to her large family during some very hard, lean times when if you couldn’t buy it you made it or survived without it. Mom was always grateful for those in her life and for what she had. She didn’t take blessings for granted. She gave love easily and often. Her most favorite way to show love was to cook for you. Mom started working as a teenager cooking for harvest crews for the area farmers. After graduating high school, she met and married Claude Dawson May 26, 1949. Together they raised three daughters and a son. Mom's greatest joy was her family and her children. That mother’s love extended to many other people that she treated as though they were her children and they belonged to her. Mom’s love of cooking took her to various hospitals, nursing homes, and later, Hellgate High School where she baked, cooked and catered. Dad's work would take them to Lewiston Idaho, Clarkson Wa., Spokane, Great Falls, and finally, Missoula in the summer of 1967. She worked for St. Patrick Hospital for twenty one years, starting in the bakery and retiring as kitchen supervisor at age 62. Mom wasn't happy being retired, so she went to work part time at Hellgate High School where she worked until age 73. Her grandchildren can remember her white uniform, hair net, snow white hair, and how seriously she took her duties as a cook and caregiver. She was a member of Crosspoint Church and really missed not being able to attend when her body no longer allowed her to go. While she might not have been able to physically attend, her heart was always with God, and she strove to see His purpose in all things. With her failing health taking such a toll on her, Mother still remained such a great joy to us all. She very seldom complained, although she certainly had every right to. She would say that things could be worse, and again, we all would marvel at her grace, gratitude, and resiliency. With the love and care of family and amazing caregivers, mom was able to remain in her apartment until her passing. A very special thanks to Mandi Lorash who spent so many hours caring for mom with such compassion and kindness. She was like another daughter to Mom. We could never have done it without her. Thanks to the staff of Hospice of Missoula for their care and compassion too.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, brothers Jacob, Gene,Tom, Hugh, Ralph, Ronnie, Jack and Muggins (Don) Presnell, husband Claude Dawson, daughter Denise Fletcher, Son Clifford Dawson, grandson Rusty Umback and Son-in-law Duane Erickson. She is survived by her daughter Dorothy Erickson, Missoula,daughter Marylou Hummel (Anthony), Missoula, daughter-In-Law Linda Dawson,Springfield, Or., eight grandchildren,seven great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren, Sister Eileen Pentzer, Winchester Idaho, brother James Presnell (Shirley), Craigmont, Id. Sister-in-law Dee Presnell, St. Maries, Id., and many nieces and nephews.Services and burial will be held Monday October 18, at Sunset Memorial at 11:00 A.M., reception to follow.
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