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Obituary: Earl Edward Dawson

Earl Edward Dawson
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Earl Edward Dawson

November 23, 1920 – February 16, 2021

Earl Edward Dawson, beloved husband of Donna (Alexander) Dawson for 73 years, devoted family man, and the man with the strongest handshake in the valley, went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 16, 2021, surrounded by family at home after a wholesome life of over 100 years. Growing up in New Castle, Colorado, he was one of the three “Dawson boys” (Roy, Earl, and Monk), and along with their precious sister Ruth, they were the embodiment of hard work, mischief, and youthful energy.

Earl grew up farming and ranching and milking cows. Then in 1940 Earl and his brother Clarence (Monk) went to Rico, CO and learned to cut timber. When Earl enlisted in the Army Air Corps for WWII, his occupation was listed as “timberjack”. He served in the European theater primarily in northern Italy during WWII and was a Staff Sergeant in the 97th Bomb Squadron of the Army Air Corps. Like most veterans of his era, Earl rarely spoke of his experiences, but his service made him cherish the gift of life, and he lived every day to the fullest.

After the war Earl returned home to New Castle, CO and married Donna Alexander. Earl and Donna made their home up Main Elk Creek, raising four children. Among many outdoor pursuits, he cut timber on Coffee Pot and worked as a clearing contractor, clearing rights-of-ways for power lines and roadways. Earl cleared most all of the ROW’s for Holy Cross Energy including into Aspen, Snowmass, Sunlight, and Vail, when those ski areas were first developed and needed power. He also contracted from the USFS, planting millions of seedling trees that were grown at the USFS nursery in El Jebel, CO.

Earl and Donna spent many winters at their second home in Queen Valley, Arizona. But the real highlight of their life together was when they built “Dawson’s Paradise” on the South Fork of the White River, at the confluence of Lost Solar Creek. This family cabin is not only a retreat, but a reminder to Earl’s family of what pioneer life was all about. He wanted his family to respect, appreciate, know, and never forget the hardships and joys of living in the old west. And as an avid sportsman, Earl enjoyed decades fishing, hunting, and riding the high country horseback. Even in his later years he was happiest sitting on the porch of the cabin, contemplating the lure of the outdoors and the pleasures of a simple life.

Earl was never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. He proudly served in the American Legion Post #164 (New Castle) and as a member of the Past Commanders Club of Colorado. He also served on the School Board of District RE-2 (Rifle) for several years and taught hunter education classes for the DOW for many years. In his later years, he could often be seen peeling around corners in Rifle in his rebuilt CJ-7 with a trusted furry companion gripping on for dear life in the passenger seat as they headed to the hardware store or to the Visitor Center, where Earl volunteered as a greeter.

Earl was preceded in death by his parents Jess and Pearl Dawson, his two brothers, and daughter Della. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Donna of 73 years, his sister Ruth, his son Delbert (Kandi), and his daughters Gail Coombs (Dale) and Jonilyn Hall (Lanny). The family legacy he leaves behind includes grandchildren: Alan Porter (Joy), Paula Porter, Cheryl Snyder (Trent), Joshua Hinman, Amanda Sirus (David) Micah Dawson (Lizz), Eli Dawson (Sophia), Leah Griffith (Casey), Cammon Hall (Jenn), Britt Hall (Alex), and Tevia Hoalst (Shane); great-grandchildren; Danika, Michael, Sabrina, Jacob, Billet, Hartleigh, Aceleigh, Blake, Bo, Brent, Brooke, Shaye, Jolynn, Jaden, Lilly, Jacob, Rilyn ,Tyce, Kingsley, Devon, Ashlyn, and Kembrooke; great-great granddaughter Randi Paige; and several loving caregivers, especially niece Marsha McAllister.

Funeral services will be February 28, 2021 at high noon (12:00), at the New Castle Highland Cemetery. The service will be open to anyone that would like to share comments. A viewing is scheduled for Sunday morning between 9:30 and 10:00 at the Rifle Funeral Home. Everyone is welcome. Cards can be sent to: The Dawson Family, 1433 Jays Ave., Rifle, CO 81650. In lieu of flowers contributions can be sent to the New Castle American Legion Post # 164, P.O. Box 469, New Castle, CO 81647 or to the Rifle Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1375, Rifle, CO 81650.


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