Melissa Dawson Courtney

February 5, 1973June 9, 2019

IRMO - Melissa Dawson Courtney, 46, went to be with her Lord on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2019 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church with Rev. John Trump officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. A burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 17, 2019 in Forest Hills Cemetery in Rock Hill. Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, is assisting the family.

Born in Georgetown on February 5, 1973, she was the only daughter of Harry Eaton Dawson III and Katherine B. Barnes.

She enjoyed hiking through the woods with her camera in tow; she was an avid birdwatcher and talented amateur photographer, who was more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.

She enjoyed traveling and exploring new places; her favorite trip ever was to the Grand Canyon several years ago. She was a South Carolina girl; having lived in the Midlands for over 20 years, she grew up near the coast. She enjoyed being on the lake, but the beach was her happy place. To quote Melissa, "There is just something about having my toes in the sand and hearing the crashing waves that soothes my soul." Melissa will be greatly missed by all who loved her, especially her mother, Kathy B. Barnes (Sandy Barnes) of Rock Hill, her father, Harry E. Dawson III (Vicki Murrill) of Camden; her brother, Thomas Bruce Dawson (Julie Dawson); her son, Jeffery LUKE Courtney of Chapin; also LUKE's father, Jeffery Frank Courtney of Chapin, and Jeff's mother, Sybil Long of Columbia, S.C. She will also be greatly missed by her extended family and friends.

For full obituary and to sign the online guestbook, please visit


  • Funeral Service Sunday, June 16, 2019
  • Visitation Sunday, June 16, 2019


Melissa Dawson Courtney

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Samantha Wise

June 15, 2019

I went to college with Melissa, I’ve kept up with her through FB and always loved seeing her beautiful photography.. She is so talented. My condolences to her family, I am sorry and my thoughts and prayers are with you.. May she be at peace.

Samantha Wise
Coastal Carolina

Lisa Nordlund

June 15, 2019

Melissa had the most infectious smile and warm heart. My prayers go out to her son Luke and all her family. Rest In Peace Melissa.

Lynette McNary

June 14, 2019

My friendship with Melissa started 8 years ago while she was working at my girls daycare. We were new to SC and she just loved and adored my girls as her own, this gave me great comfort knowing she was there for them when I couldn’t. Though her love of my girls and her sweet thoughtful nature we became good friends. One of my favorite things about Melissa was her talent for taking photos and she blessed us by taking our family pictures which she thought were ok but trust me they are perfect! My family and I are truly going to miss her but most of all I going to miss that our friendship made me a better person. I am forever grateful that I got to call her my friend.

Ann Altman-O’Cain

June 14, 2019

Dear Dawson Family,
A few years ago, this beautiful blonde lady recognized me in Harbison Target, and walked right up to say hello. Little Melissa Dawson, who I babysat over 40 years ago was standing in front of me and knew me by my name.....Ann Altman. We talked for over an hour. I met her sweet little boy and it was so wonderful to see her all grown up as a confident, well-spoken, lovely woman. We stayed in tough via Facebook, but I will never forget that day.
My heart is broken to know that she is no longer with us. I offer my condolences to her family and friends, especially to Buddy, Kathy, Bruce, as well as her sweet son and his father. Love and prayers to you all.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Ann Altman-O’Cain

Melissa Harris

June 14, 2019

Melissa and I worked together at Chapin Baptist Child Development Center. She was always the sunshine everyone saw when they walked in the door. She was beautiful inside and out. She and I were both named Melissa and both were only children. We both also had only one child, so we hit it off quickly. We shared a lot of wonderful conversations. Long after we left CBCDC, Melissa, Mr. Woody (a former co-worker), and I would get together about every 6-8 weeks to eat lunch. We would catch up and laugh about silly jokes. We had a lot of good times. Now she and Mr. Woody are in heaven telling jokes together and that makes me smile. The world is a little dimmer without you here, Melissa. but we know you are happy, carefree and at peace. You will be greatly missed. Sending love and peace beyond understanding to your family.

Jeff Courtney

June 14, 2019

Luke & I will always miss you & you will be in our hearts forever.

Jeff & Luke

Vikky Svedberg-Ferris

June 14, 2019

Because Melissa is still alive and has only relocated to be in heaven with Jesus and her Grandmother Pat, her great grandmother & grandfathers, my mother June Dawson Svedberg and so many others who love her so much, I refer to her in the present tense.
Melissa is a beautiful, kind & loving woman. She gave so much love to my mother & me and we will always love her. The Bible says “Love never ends.” Luke , Kathy & Buddy; Melissa’s love for you continues and will never end. It is stronger than death and can never be quenched.
Our highest call & greatest gift to Melissa is to Walk in the Love of Christ and finish our race in faith and the love of Jesus. And we will all be together again. Until then, I pray for the Holy Spirit to give you peace that passes all understanding. I love each of you.
Cousin Vikky

Heather Anderson

June 14, 2019

I met Melissa when we were in High school GHS Georgetown SC.. She was a sweet person. We reconnected back years later on Facebook. Prayers for the family during this difficult time. Gone way too soon. Such a sweet person with an infectious smile.

Pandora Strickland-Shahady

June 14, 2019

I met Melissa in the 1983/84 school year at Winyah Academy. She was a sweet young girl. Seems like yesterday! One day about 6 or 7 years ago, she recognized me at a water park and we talked for a bit! We have stayed in touch on Facebook over these past few years and i am so saddened to hear she has passed. Rest in peace sweet young angel. #gone toosoon #giveAshleyHucksKirklandAhug

Tempe Easterday

June 13, 2019

I knew Melissa for 12 years when our boys, Luke and Sam, met at Lake Murray Elementary. Those two became fast friends. Melissa was so beautiful and so full of kindness and laughter. Our boys spent many hours together and Melissa took hundreds of pictures. I loved them all, especially her nature photos of birds. My heart goes out to the family, especially Luke! I pray for God’s peace to surround all of you. Much love and prayers.