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Lillian Dawson

Lillian D. Dawson

Tuesday, June 5th, 1917 - Tuesday, January 7th, 2020
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Obituary

Lillian Louise (Dove) Dawson passed away peacefully at her home in Longmont on January 7, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.

Lillian was born on June 5, 1917, in Deadwood, SD, the second of six children of Leonard and Nell (Henn) Dove. Her father was a chemistry professor and geologist with the North Dakota Geologic Survey and their frequent moves saw her attending 13 different schools before graduating with honors from Hinsdale High School in Hinsdale, IL, in 1935. In 1938, she married her high school sweetheart, Paul Dawson. In the ensuing years they raised four children, Gail, Kathy, Paul Jr. (Pete) and Joe in Brookfield, IL (with wartime assignments in Corpus Christ, TX and Dearborn, MI while Paul was in the Navy), Neenah, WI; and finally Boulder, CO, in 1960. Lillian and Paul were active golfers at Boulder Country Club and spent extended time in their home in Sun City, AZ.

After Paul's death in 1982, Lillian moved to Sun City, and with good friend Eleanor, made trips to Asia, where they walked on the Great Wall of China, took cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, and through the Panama Canal. In 1987, she met and married LeRoy Kemper, and for 11 years they spent their winters in AZ and summers at her summer cabin in Ely, MN, taking special joy in the bears and other wildlife on Eagles Nest Lake, until Lee's death in 1998.

In 2002, Lillian moved to Longmont to be closer to family. She enjoyed and appreciated the friendliness and help of her Hover Community neighbors, especially “flower angel” Linda, “chocolate angels” Harry and Judith, and roof-mates Hugh and Edie, and visitors from Longs Peak Methodist Church.

Lillian was a friendly and gentle lady who was involved in both Girl and Cub Scouts, bridge clubs, golf leagues and a variety of church and neighborhood activities over the years; as well as knitting hundreds of hats and booties for hospital nurseries and most recently, scrubbies for anyone who could use one. Her intense curiosity and love of learning led her to read many hundreds of books and spend countless evenings watching PBS or Great Courses lectures on everything from nature to string theory to how the universe was formed. She only gave up exercise classes and driving, with reluctance, at age 95. Her independent spirit was an inspiration to her family and many friends.

Lillian is preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters, husbands Paul Dawson and LeRoy Kemper, and son Joe. She is survived by children Gail (Dennis) Maki of Madison, WI; Kathy (George) Campbell of Firestone, CO; Pete (Lindy) Dawson of Longmont, CO; and daughter-in-law Cindy (Joe) Dawson of Broomfield, CO; 8 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren (the youngest of whom was born on her 96th birthday), as well as a number of loving nieces, nephews and friends.

Mother's steadfast love and deep faith gave us roots, and her encouragement and support to try new things gave us wings. Her sense of humor and fierce determination to do things herself as much as possible led her to be amazingly independent beyond her 102nd birthday, with “a little help” from Kathy, Pete and Gail, daughter-in-law Cindy, granddaughter-in-law Heather, and kind helpers from Synergy, all of whom she appreciated immensely. Lillian was a ray of sunshine to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

There will be a private family inurnment, with a celebration of her life to follow in the spring. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Longs Peak Methodist Church. Cremation is entrusted to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel.
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Service Details

A Celebration of Life will occur later this spring following a private family inurnment.

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