Born Thursday, July 24, 1952
Died Thursday, July 2, 2020
Mary Katherine Dawson was born July 24, 1952 to A. D. & Hazel (Rains) Dawson in Muskogee, OK. She calmly & quietly left this life on July 2, 2020 after a long and valiant fight with liver disease.
Kathy could be described in so many ways, but she is probably best recounted as loving, kind, funny, smart, generous, feisty and most of all, tough. As Shakespeare wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Kathy grew up on the West side of Muskogee attending church at Boston Avenue, going to school at Longfellow Elementary, West Junior High and finally graduating from Central High School with the class of 1970. After graduation, she and her father, A.D., commuted to Tahlequah together while they both attended what was then Northeastern State College. Not many people get to say they went to school with their dad, but Kathy did!
In 1973, her daughter Sarah was born. This changed the focus and direction of her life dramatically. After a divorce and a break from school to work & raise Sarah, she returned to college; graduating with her Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Northeastern. While she was there, she worked for the Wildlife Department where she made many friends and tagged lots of Canadian Geese. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she and Sarah moved to Norman where she decided to attempt the LSAT. After a summer of intense study and work, she decided Law School wasn’t for her. She instead pursued a Master’s Degree in Ichthyology. When she was just a few hours shy of her MS degree, Kathy was offered a job as a Sanitarian with the State of Oklahoma in Washington County. She took the position and lived and worked in Bartlesville for almost 6 years. Kathy then returned to Muskogee where she briefly worked for the City of Muskogee before resuming her work as a Sanitarian for the State of Oklahoma until her retirement.
In 2004, her grandson Kai was born. Again, her purpose and focus in life changed dramatically after falling head over heels in love with him. After she retired from the State, she planned to focus on enjoying Kai and her many hobbies. Although she had many, perhaps her most enjoyed hobby was photography. She was a very accomplished photographer and was sought out by many. She loved being behind the lens. Her favorite subject was Kai. She documented many of his “firsts” and always photographed his parties and school functions. Her health interrupted these plans, but she took advantage of every moment she could.
There is not enough time or space to describe her tenacious spirit and huge heart; nor all of the wonderful things she did in her life. There is no doubt that her most treasured roles were Mom and Granny. She touched so many lives and is sorely missed. We take comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain caused by her liver disease.
Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, A.D. & Hazel Rains Dawson, Grandmothers Madeline Carroll Rains & Frankie Young Dawson, Aunts Mary Emma Dawson Guiwits, Nancy Rains Payne & Carol Rains Anson, Uncles Roy V. & Karl Rains, Daniel Dawson, Raymond “Buggs” Dawson & Frank Dawson and cousins Ryan Anson, Jeff Rains & Jeff Harrison.
Kathy is survived by her daughter Sarah Callison of Muskogee, OK, grandson, Kai Murphy of Muskogee, OK, sister M’liss Jenkins and husband Carl of Ramona, OK, brother Alan “Dice” Dawson of Muskogee, OK, Uncle Chick Rains of Muskogee, OK, Nieces Amber Sikes Chase and husband Jay of Broken Arrow, OK, Ashley Sikes and partner Dennis Duncan of Bartlesville, OK, Amy Jenkins and partner Nate Grace of Austin, TX, Nephew Adam Jenkins of Ramona, OK, Great Nieces and nephews: Jacob, Coleman, Kennedy, Cooper & London Chase of Broken Arrow, OK, Kaelynn, Dennis & Ashden Duncan of Bartlesville, OK and Guthrie & Golden Grace of Austin, TX.
She also leaves behind many close cousins and a large group of beloved friends who are like family.
A memorial service celebrating Kathy’s life and legacy is planned for a later date.
Cremation provided by Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 North York St, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.