Robert N. Dawson
December 18, 1905 ‒ January 13, 2008
LEXINGTON: Robert N. “Bob” Dawson, MBE, 102, of Essex Road, Lexington, died Sunday evening January 13, 2008 in Mifflin Care Center, Mansfield, following a short illness.
He was born December 18, 1905 in Dublin, Ireland to John and Martha (Sweeney) Dawson. He left Dublin at the age of 20 to attend the Honor Oak Bible Institute in London, England.
After serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, he was accepted into the British Diplomatic Corps. During the Second World War, he was briefly held in Iraq as a prisoner-of-war along with about 500 other British expatriates.
He served in several different capacities in the Foreign Office, including Vice-Consul and Consul, in various countries including Ethiopia, Iraq, India, Sweden, Jerusalem, Yugoslavia, Poland, France.
On his return to London, he served in the British Foreign Office in the capacity of Queen’s Messenger and the VIP desk, where he arranged transportation and accommodation for VIP’s visiting England in official capacities.
In 1960, he was appointed as the Administrator for the Monkton Commission, as Britain assisted the newly independent countries of the Rhodesia’s, in Africa, to realign their governments.
On retirement from the Foreign Office, in 1966, he was appointed to serve as the first Accountant/Administrative Officer for the British Commonwealth Foundation, which was just being formed to assist in the education and placement of leaders in the newly Independent countries of the Former British Commonwealth. In this capacity, he traveled to many of those countries assisting them in achieving quality leadership.
In 1975, he was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for service above and beyond the call of duty.
After his formal retirement from the Commonwealth Foundation, he continued to be involved in several other capacities. He served as chairman of Civil Service Benevolence Fund, as well as the Irish Weekend Committee. He was active with Operation Mobilization, a Christian organization delivering literature and medical aid in Jesus’ name to third world countries. Here he manned some of their bookshops in London. He was also active in Torch Trust, a ministry to the blind in the UK.
Following the death of his first wife, he remarried in 1981 and came to the United States where he became a member of First Alliance Church. For several years, he was a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon. He served the Christian community in Richland County in several capacities, as chairman of Christian Businessmen’s Association, leading services in various Nursing Homes, and being involved in leading and teaching Bible study groups throughout the community.
He will be remembered for his dignity, tenderness and humility, his great love for his family and always being dressed “as sharp as a tack!” One of his most memorable assets was his Irish humor and love of teasing people. Here his mischievous smile and sparkling eyes were usually the hint that a practical joke was on its way.
Throughout all of his life, his first allegiance and love was for his Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. As a lay preacher and leader of Bible Studies, he was an avid student of God’s Word and would fiercely defend it! His motto through the years has always been: “As for God, His way is perfect.”
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth McClenahan Dawson, whom he married November 28, 1981; daughter and son-in-law Lily and Alistair Crow of London, England and Calcutta, India; daughter Sheila Shaw of Oxted, Surrey, England; grandchildren Sara Crow, Rebecca Crow, Hannah Crow, Tim Crow and Lawrence Shaw; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Violet (Alexander) Dawson in 1980; a daughter Maureen Dawson in 1992; and five brothers and sisters.
The family will receive friends Thursday, January 17, 2008 from 5-7 PM in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. Visitation continues Friday from 10:30 AM to 11:30 in First Alliance Church, 291 West Cook Road, Mansfield. The worship service, giving glory to God and thanksgiving for the life of Robert Dawson will follow at 11:30 AM with The Revs. Steven Burggraf, Dennis R. Allison, James Cheatham and William Roller, officiating. Burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers Memorial contributions to Freeset, an enterprise in which his daughter and son-in-law assist, in Calcutta, providing alternative employment for women trapped into prostitution, or Operation Mobilization, and may be made at the funeral home.