Russell E. Dawson
April 26, 1926 - February 12, 2017
Service Date: February 21, 2017
Russell E. Dawson, was a Master Sergeant! Anyone who knew him, knew he lived and breathed the Military Service. Entering the U. S. Army in 1945, he was trained as an infantry soldier, a rifle man. He was later assigned to the Army Air Corp as it was known back then. Later when the United States formed the new branch of the military, that being the U. S. Air Force, Russell Dawson was one of the Original members. Like many GI’s back then he met my mom Edna Marie Dawson (nee Wright) while on pass with his then best friend Airman “Bill Hosey”. They wound up marrying best friends; Russell and Marie Dawson and William and Grace Hosey. This was the beginning of a friendship that lasted a lifetime for them all.
Russell Dawson was born in Akron Ohio. His siblings were sisters, Donna and Wilma, and a brother Robert; all now deceased. His father Eugene Dawson, born in West Virginia, was mid- western Regional Sales Distributor for Singer Sewing Machines, a huge company during those days. When my father Russell was born in 1926, he was listed in the social column of the Akron Ohio newspaper. Then, in 19 and 29 when the big depression hit, Russell’s little sister, Wilma Dawson was born and was listed on the social assistance rolls instead. His dad lost all his stores! His father and mother then divorced as well.
He was shipped to his uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin. His mother was to come and get them once she re-settled, but she had a life threatening car accident, that almost killed her, they didn’t know if she would even pull through, and after that she was unable to care for them for some time. Russ would work day and night for many years with his little brother and sister by his side on the dairy farm. Life was hard back then on a dairy farm there were no “milker machines”, cows must be milked twice a day (no such thing as holidays). Russell joined the service when he was old enough and never looked back. He used to say the military basic training was in some ways “a break” when compared to his life on the Dairy Farm. The military was a wonderful place for them and they embraced it as the life they had always dreamed of. Russ and Marie endured life with Marie’s side of the family, giving my dad a lot of the family closeness he sometimes didn’t have in his own child hood. Marie’s parents Ramon and Edna Wright , their sisters and children were the family life they clung to most closely for all their lives. Maries sisters, Vera Clark, June Gill, and their families, and all the relatives most coming out of the country of Calhoun county Il. These were different times; times that are now just fond memories. Our Calhoun root names were Hays and Geske.
Russell and Marie raised a family and literally traveled the world with the Air Force. They had Four children, all boys, Russell Gene, William (Bill) Mark, Grant Lloyd and Douglas Keith Dawson. They lived in France, Japan, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, England, and a number of other places. Russell was part of the occupation forces in Germany in the forties. Master Sergeant Dawson volunteered for Vietnam in 1964, and was sent over to Taiwan and Vietnam tour of duty. Master Sergeant Dawson was in procurement and was involved in securing and building air strips out of the jungles in Vietnam ,and the related other areas. Russell retired after 30 years from the United States Air Force.
Russell also excelled in sales after leaving the military, and was with Magill Real Estate Co, Century 21 Real Estate, and Santanello Realty. Russell was a Illinois licensed Real Estate Broker, and for a short time a Real Estate Company owner. He was also involved in insurance and was with Common Wealth Accident and Casualty company for some time too, after his military retirement.
Russell was a lifelong Mason, and American legion member, as well as a member of the First Baptist church of Belleville Il. Russell is preceded in death by his lovely wife Edna Marie Dawson, and his sons, Russell Gene, William Mark, and Grant Lloyd Dawson respectively; his grandson Zachary Wuebbels, his parents Eugene Dawson and Eleanor Dawson (nee Lytle).
Surviving family include his one remaining son Douglas Keith Dawson and wife Linda A Dawson (nee Uhles), Grandchildren, Matthew Jared Dawson, Paul Jasen Dawson, Chad Youman, Echo Conner; Travis Dawson, Eddie Lopes, Eric Lopes, Sean Wagner, Sara Wagner, and along with many, many wonderful Grandchildren and great Grandchildren! His nephew and niece from his sister Donna are surviving as well, Scott Dawson of Ohio, and Lesley Dawson of Nevada.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE MY DAD WAS HERO! May Jesus be with them all now as they celebrate their glorious reunion. AMEN!
Visitation: Friends may call from 9:00 am – 11:15 am Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, Illinois.
Funeral: Funeral service will be held at 11:15 am Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at Kurrus Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.