Kenneth R Dawson

February 18, 1925May 6, 2019

Kenneth Royal Dawson, peacefully entered his heavenly home on May 6, 2019. He was born February 18, 1925, the son of the late Crawford Turner and Elma Venable Dawson.

He is survived by his daughters-in-law, Janice Dawson and Lisa Hankla Dawson of Rustburg; son William Royal Dawson of Pinehurst, NC; daughter Shirley Falwell and husband David of Lynchburg; and daughter Susan Whittington and husband Tom of Palm City, FL. He was a loving grandfather to nine grandchildren; Chris Dawson and wife Lisa, Kevin Dawson and wife Stacy, Joey Dawson and wife Marcie, Greg Dawson and wife Brittany, Ben Dawson and wife Nicole, all of Rustburg; Dina Blackstock of Altavista; Craig Falwell and wife Sally of Dallas, TX; Jordan Taylor and husband Ian of Jensen Beach, FL; and Kennerly McVeigh of St. Petersburg, FL. He is also survived by eight great grandchildren: Crawford, Ally and Sawyer Dawson, Evey Falwell, Brack Blackstock, Farrah and Lexington Taylor, and Morgan Dawson.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Rachel Tanner Dawson, his sister Nellie Dawson Tanner, and two sons, Alfred Kenneth Dawson and Samuel Turner Dawson.

Kenneth proudly served in the United States Army in the European Theater during World War II, during which he earned two purple hearts. After being honorably discharged, he worked alongside his father in the family’s sawmill and later started Dawson Logging. When he wasn’t working or repairing equipment, he was farming, fishing or playing the fiddle or guitar. Everything he did seemed to create the basis for a comic story, particularly when he and Rachel frequently took all five children fishing to Leesville or Smith Mountain Lake on summer Saturdays.

During the fall and spring, Rachel’s kitchen was alive by 4:30 a.m. most Saturdays when Kenneth’s fishing buddies crowded around the table for coffee, bacon, eggs and pancakes before taking off to Buggs Island and other “fishing holes.” Stories about his annual trips to Wachapreague on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with his fishing buddies and taking his five children fishing on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge pier from midnight to 6 a.m. are legendary.

Kenneth’s laugh and sense of humor were a trademark. His unintentional physical comedy left many in stitches as he was a bit accident prone. He never stopped trying to pass hand signals during a game of Rook or win any card game he played with his family paying little attention to the rules. After retiring he developed a passion for woodworking and there are many of his swings and picnic tables being actively used all over central Virginia.

Kenneth attended New Chapel Baptist Church as a young man and became a lifelong member of Diamond Hill Presbyterian Church after he married. God, family and country were always at the forefront of his life.

As Alzheimer’s began to rob him of his memories and his body declined, Hospice provided great comfort for Kenneth and great relief to the family. He was honored in March 2018 for his service to the country and displayed remarkable clarity that day as he gifted his family with stories of his time in Germany.

A private graveside service and interment will be held at Diamond Hill Presbyterian Church and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

The family wishes to thank all who visited Kenneth over the last several years, and especially the loving, capable staff at The Summit Health and Rehab Center.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Kenneth R Dawson

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Janet Brooks

May 8, 2019

Shirley, so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. Love and prayers to you and your family. Jack and Janet Brooks

Cece Thomas

May 8, 2019

Shirley, I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. It was a pleasure getting to talk with your Dad for many years at the Summit. He and My Mom Hazel, would have some interesting talks at the window. They are now wheelchair free and rejoicing in heaven.
Keeping you and your family in our prayers.
CeCe Thomas

Bev Whipkey

May 8, 2019

Shirley, you and your family are in my prayers. I did not know your father, but I can tell by his obituary that he was an extraordinary man. Hugs, love, and prayers, friend.

Patsy Notestainpnotestain

May 8, 2019

I will always remember Kenneth as he was like a second dad to me. He taught me how to fish. He taught me through his actions to be kind and have faith. I will always remember him teaching me the hymn Precious Memories. We spent a lot of time on his front porch swing talking,singing ,crying and praying. He will always hold a place in my heart and his memory will live in me forever. I love you my boss. Fly high tell we meet again.

Jeff Holmes

May 8, 2019

So sorry for your loss prayers for the family

Wayne Walden

May 8, 2019

Kevin & Family,. In our thoughts and prayers.... Wayne Walden Jr. & Family. 🌷

Charles Fariss

May 7, 2019

Over two decades ago we took a bushel of butterbeans to Kenneth to shell in his "tumbling butterbean cage"..
Easier than hand shelling by far.
An all American couple 💕&family.