Thomas Dean Dawson, of Niles

March 21, 1946 — Oct. 18, 2018

Thomas Dean Dawson, 72, of Niles, died peacefully at 5:03 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, ending a long battle against cancer.

He was born on March 21, 1946, in Dowagiac, to Darwin E. and Myrtle L. (Lohroff) Dawson, and was graduated from Niles High School in 1964. In 1966, he joined the U.S. Army, serving in Vietnam in Troop D of the 3-4 Cavalry 25th Infantry. His unit was highly decorated, including both the Meritorious Unit Citation and the Presidential Unit Citation, as well as recognition by the Republic of Vietnam. Tom was also a highly decorated soldier including the Air Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, and a second Bronze Star award that included both heroism and valor. He was Honorably Discharged as a Sergeant, and Veteran of the Vietnam Era.

Thomas Dean Dawson

Back in Niles, Tom began a career in the electric utilities as a lineman, eventually moving up through the ranks to management. He was employed by the City of Niles Utilities for over 30 years.

Tom attended Summit Church in Niles, was a member of the American Legion Post #51 in Buchanan, and volunteered with the auxiliary units of several area police departments. He enjoyed golfing and bowling in area leagues, visiting the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, and hunting and fishing near Ludington, Michigan. He also enjoyed golfing as a winter resident of Lake Wales, Florida. At home, when not helping friends and neighbors with electrical problems, he could be found watching westerns on television, especially John Wayne, “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke.” But his greatest interest was his family.

On April 11, 1970, at Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles he married the former Karen Sue Carpenter with whom he celebrated earlier this year the 48th anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, Karen Dawson and their children, Gregory Allen (and Susan) Dawson of Niles and Stacie Elaine Dawson of Plymouth, Indiana; grandson Thomas Dunlap; Tom’s siblings, Anne (and Russell) Wychocki of Scottville, Michigan, Jean Perkins of Plainwell, Michigan, and Jim (and Linda) Dawson of Tipton, Indiana; many nieces and nephews; and a wonderful circle of great friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Darwin and Myrtle Dawson and by Karen’s parents, Clark and Donna Carpenter.

The funeral service for Thomas Dawson will be at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at the Summit Church, 1700 West River Road in Niles with the Rev. Daniel Miller of the church officiating. Committal services will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles and will conclude with the Full Military Honors by the U.S. Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 2 until 4 p.m. and 6 until 8 p.m. Monday Oct. 22 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the Milano’s Cancer Fund, 215 North Seventeenth Street, Niles, MI 49120. Online condolences may be left at: halbritterwickens.com.

Buchanan

Local provisioning centers celebrate cannabis holiday with sales, overcome software snags

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 799,140 cases, 16,986 deaths

Dowagiac

DUS to install classroom phones in elementary schools, high school

Berrien County

Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association sets annual meeting

Dowagiac

DUS Board of Education honors Class of 2021 Top 10

Buchanan

Buchanan HCU member center lands new leadership

Berrien County

United Way of Southwest Michigan invites community to honor leaders during National Volunteer Week

Buchanan

Buchanan provisioning center raises money to fight cannabis injustices

Cass County

Cass County Sheriff’s Office K9 finds home invasion, larceny suspect

Berrien County

UPDATE: Sheriff’s office finds missing Niles man

Brandywine Education

Teacher resigns after allegedly soliciting 14-year-old

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 793,881 cases, 16,901 deaths

Business

Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

Berrien County

Merritt Elementary hosting pet supply drive for area shelters

Dowagiac

SMC psychology panel provides pandemic perspective

Berrien County

South Bend man sentenced for meth possession in Niles Township

Berrien County

GateWay Services to become Center for Growth and Independence

Buchanan

Cannavista Wellness, Common Citizen launch 420 charitable fundraiser

News

Niles Police Log: April 8-15

Dowagiac

Retired Dowagiac resident returns to teaching at 80

Cass County

Report finds problem-solving courts help lower recidivism, unemployment rates

Business

Yarn on Front owner shares how she adapted, overcame pandemic squeeze

Dowagiac

DUS graduate raising money for independent film project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club excited to bring ‘welcome’ sign to community