John Dawson was born in Pearson, Maryland (Cedar Point) on January 7, 1927. His parents were Alice Elizabeth (Wible) and John Dawson. On the Cedar Point farm, the family raised tomatoes, which were taken by boat from Milstead Landing to the Philips Packing House in Cambridge, Maryland. They raised wheat, corn and barley for Cecil’s Mill in Great Mills to be ground for flour. They harvested oysters, some of which were shipped to Baltimore. They raised chickens, and during the height of the laying season, they collected up to 500 eggs a day, which were washed and crated and taken to Baltimore for sale.
He had three sisters. Two, Agnes and Lorraine, died as young children from diphtheria in 1923 just one day apart. His sister Margaret died in 1986.
The family moved from Cedar Point to a small farm in Hollywood in 1942, when the Navy took possession of the area for the naval base.
He graduated from Great Mills High School in 1944 at age 17.
He worked at a local auto repair shop in Hollywood and later opened his own auto repair shop. In addition to auto repair, he learned a number of construction skills, including carpentry and bricklaying. He also served for a time as a local mail carrier and worked with the local Rural Electrification Association. (REA).
In 1951, John married Norma Carol Insley, daughter of Preston and Rosalie Insley of Hollywood.
He entered the US Army in 1955 at the age of 27 and served two years, honorably discharged in 1957.
He entered apprentice school at Pax River Naval Base, took college classes in math and electronics, completed coursework at the Capitol Radio Institute, and then entered civil service as an Electronic Technician, retiring after 30 years of government service in 1985.
After retirement, he worked for a number of years as a technician for Dyncorp. And farmed in Hollywood, raising tobacco, alfalfa, corn, wheat, barley, soybeans and hay. He had a fondness for animals, and raised and took care of a variety of them over the years.
In 1988, he worked with a helper to construct their new home on the farm, drawing on his expertise in masonry and carpentry.
He was very active in the Hollywood United Methodist Church, where he served as chair of the Administrative Board and other positions, and helped with many work projects at the church.
He regularly attended church services and adult Sunday school for over 60 years. He regularly read and prepared for his Sunday school lessons every week. He was also a longtime member of the local Thomas Shryock Masonic Lodge.
He is survived by his wife Norma, his children John David Dawson, married to Ellen Claire (Huff) Dawson, Daniel Mark Dawson, Married to Susan (Struble) Dawson, and Carol Dawson Feldman (married to Bruce Feldman), and his grandchildren, Aaron David Dawson (Married to Hope Bentley Hutchison), Abigail Elizabeth Dawson, John Frederick Dawson, Samuel Preston Dawson, and Meghan Elizabeth Feldman.
The family will receive friends on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM with prayers recited at 6:30 PM in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home Leonardtown, MD. A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 10:00 AM in the Hollywood United Methodist Church Hollywood, MD with Pastor Katie Paul officiating.
Pallbearers will be: Tony Tavera, Wesley Tavera, Mark Tavera, C.D. Wood, Wayne Dean and Danny Simpson.
Interment will follow in Joy Chapel Cemetery Hollywood, MD.
Contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s P.O. Box 625 Leonardtown, MD 20650, and Hollywood Vol. Rescue Squad P.O. Box 79 Hollywood, MD 20636.