Helen B. Dawson, 94, a resident of Frederick Living in Frederick, Pa. since 2000, passed away peacefully from pneumonia Feb. 2, 2015, in hospice at Phoenixville Hospital in Pennsylvania, with her family by her side.
Helen was born in Fairmont, W. Va., Jan. 28, 1921, to Frederick H. Barron and Florence E. Bassett. During her first 12 years, Helen lived in Scotia, N.Y., and Schenectady, N.Y. In 1932, the family moved to Greenwich, N.Y., and in 1938, Helen graduated from Greenwich High School as class valedictorian.
She attended the New York State College for Teachers in Albany, from 1938 to 1942, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree as a teacher of business subjects. She earned her master’s degree in 1949.
Helen taught business subjects at Shelter Island High School from 1942 to 1949. In 1949, she married C. Austin Dawson, who had been one of her students there. Later that year, they moved to Granville, N.Y., where Austin taught business subjects and later became a school guidance counselor. Their three children were all born in Granville and attended school there until 1967.
In 1967, the family moved back to Long Island, where Austin became director of guidance for the Southold School District and Helen returned to Shelter Island to again teach business subjects.
While they lived on Long Island, Helen was the pianist/organist for North Fork Baptist Church in Mattituck and treasurer, coordinator and teacher for the Pioneer Girls at the church.
Helen and Austin were both members of Gideons International, an association of Christian professional men and their wives, and held numerous offices on the local and state levels. Both led ministries for inmates at Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead. Helen truly loved both her church work and her involvement with Gideons.
In 2000, after Helen and Austin had retired, they moved to the Frederick Mennonite Community in Frederick, Pa. Afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, Austin passed away there Aug. 16, 2004. Helen continued to live independently at Frederick until circulatory problems in her legs and feet forced her to move into a personal-care unit at Frederick in August 2014 and then to the nursing unit there in December 2014.
Helen is survived by two sons, Barron Austin Dawson, 61, and his wife, Bonita, of West Deptford, N.J., and Kenneth Eugene Dawson, 59, of Bethlehem, Pa., as well as a daughter, Mary Ellen Komarek, 57, and her husband, Robert, of Fishkill, N.Y. She is also survived by four grandchildren: Allyson and Brendan Komarek, Glenn R. Dawson and Katherine H. Dawson.
Arrangements entrusted to DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Homes, Inc. are unknown at this time.
Gifts in Helen’s memory may be sent to: Eastport Bible Church, 386 Montauk Highway, Eastport, NY 11941 or The Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800, or Frederick Living, P.O. Box 548, Frederick, PA 19435.
This is a paid notice.