Cover photo for Virginia Dawson's Obituary
Virginia Dawson Profile Photo

Virginia Dawson

April 9, 1927 — July 19, 2020

Virginia Dawson

Virginia Beatrice (Baker) Dawson, 93, formerly of St. Louis, MI, and Port St. Joe, FL, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Independence Village of Grand Ledge, MI.

Born on April 9, 1927, in Marion, MI, Virginia was the oldest child of Ray Newton Baker and Beatrice Valada (DeForest) Baker.  She graduated from Ithaca High School in 1944.  On April 25, 1947, Virginia married the love of her life, Maurice Dawson.  Their 67-year union exemplified a loving Christian marriage and family.  She was an incredibly engaged wife, mother, and nana who adored her family and loved spending time with them—especially at Rock Lake Christian Assembly.  Virginia also was very active in the St. Louis Church of Christ where she and Maurice worshipped together for over fifty years, taught generations of students, and enjoyed the company of their many friends.

Although Virginia spent most of her life in and around Gratiot County, MI, she also fondly recalled the people, beaches, and sunsets from the eight wonderful years when the Dawson family lived in Port St. Joe, FL.

Virginia touched countless lives through her activities at the Church of Christ, career as a public school secretary, and connections with family and friends.  She also was known as a gifted seamstress, calligrapher, and artist.  Her vivacious personality, quick wit, shared wisdom, indomitable spirit, and warm heart endeared her to everyone.  Virginia was greatly loved, and will be greatly missed.

Virginia is survived by her brother, Garold Baker of Chesaning, MI; her four children:  Dennis (Marilynn) Dawson of Brighton, MI, Dianne Dawson-Ryan of Haslett, MI, LaDonna (Gordon) Johnson of Grand Ledge, MI, and Deanna (Lyle) Essex of St Louis, MI; her six grandchildren:  Emily (Aaron) Matthews, Brett (Lindsay) Dawson, Shawna (Jon) Bellamy, Pamela Johnson, LeAnna Slates, and Luke (Amy) Essex; and her six great-grandchildren:  Ethan Slates, Colden and Blake Essex, and Grace, Tate, and Everett Dawson.  She also is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Maurice (2014), parents, and sister, Amelia Marie Putnam (1976).

The family deeply appreciates the kind care and attentive staff of Independence Village and Laurus Hospice of Grand Ledge, MI.

Private Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, MI, with Dr. Keith Wise officiating.  Burial will take place at North Star Cemetery, North Star, MI.  Those wishing to be a part of the service are invited to join us on Facebook live at the Smith Family Funeral Homes page at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020.  Keeping the health and safety of family and friends in mind, Virginia’s family also will plan a public celebration of her life at a later date.

Due to serious allergies, the family requests that NO FLOWERS be sent.  Memorials may be made to Rock Lake Christian Assembly (7389 Vestaburg Rd., Vestaburg, MI 48891) or to St. Louis Church of Christ (1075 W. Monroe Rd., St. Louis, MI 48880).  To leave an online condolence, please visit Virginia’s obituary at  The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, MI.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia Dawson, please visit our flower store.


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