Dawn Therese Brancheau

April 16, 1969February 24, 2010

Dawn Therese Brancheau, nee Lo Verde, 40, of St. Cloud, FL, formerly of Cedar Lake, IN, passed away February 24, 2010 doing what she loved. Inspired as a child after seeing a Shamu show, Brancheau knew at an early age that she wanted to perform with the whales. While living her dream, she was a source of inspiration and joy to her family and friends. We are blessed to have been a part of her wonderful life and will forever cherish the memories of her in our hearts, minds, and souls.

Dawn’s inherent love for others, for children, and for animals was her life’s passion. Her work with whales at Sea World brought her great joy, and her skills as a trainer came naturally. Her love for animals extended beyond work. She volunteered at her local animal shelter and her home was often the refuge for animals, including ducks, roosters, chickens, birds, bunnies, and dogs.

Dawn was a 1987 graduate of Andrean High School in Merrillville, IN. She went on to receive degrees in Psychology and Biology from the University of South Carolina where she was active on the dance team and a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.

After college, Dawn met her husband and best friend, Scott Brancheau, in the cafeteria at Sea World shortly after arriving to pursue her life-long dream. Scott and Dawn were married in 1996 in Chicago. They have been living in St. Cloud with their chocolate labs, Ruger and Maggi, where they created a loving and welcoming home. Their door was always open to family and friends traveling to Orlando.

Dawn was the loving wife of Scott Brancheau, cherished daughter of Marion & the late Charles LoVerde Jr., daughter-in law to John and Terry Brancheau, dear sister of Deborah (Anthony) Frogameni, Charles (Tracy) LoVerde, Darlyne Klages, Diane (Jeffrey) Gross, and Thomas (Mary) LoVerde, sister-in-law to Lou-Ann (Joe) Morrill and Daniel (Lauren) Brancheau, loving aunt of Ali, Anthony, Vincent, Dominic, Mario, Francesca, Gianna, Melissa, Jessica, Jenny, Jonathan, Cole, Reve, Addie, Bethany and the late Nathan, godmother and honorary aunt to many, and a once in a lifetime friend to most..

Dawn had a strong faith in Christ and her fellow man, and possessed the gift of loving well. She was an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Cloud where she enjoyed Bible Study and was working to aid an orphanage in Africa.

Dawn was compassionate, loving, and lived her short life to its fullest. With genuine joy and hope in her heart, she made all of our lives better for having known and loved her.

Visitation Sunday 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL. Funeral Mass Monday, 11:00 AM at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, IL Memorial services will be held in Orlando at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dawn Brancheau Memorial Fund, c/o US Bank, P.O. Box 809231, Chicago, IL 60680-9231.



  • Visitation

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, March 1, 2010


  • Interment


Dawn Therese Brancheau

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patricia Price

May 8, 2020

I remember meeting Dawn in Gulfport, Mississippi, in ‘93 or ‘94, when she stopped into a local business there to get her physical done for her new job in Florida. She left her name and phone number with me to contact her for when I came to Orlando to bring my daughter. She had been working at Marine Life in Gulfport. So sweet, and friendly, and was so excited about going to Florida. I kept her number in my desk for many years later. No mention of her work in Gulfport but, I think she told me she trained the sea lions at Marine life. So sorry for her family and friends. 🙏🏼

March 4, 2017



February 2, 2017


Lorena Torres

March 31, 2016

It is so sad to see these incidents happen...RIP Dawn..Prayers to her family and for Telikum

Sherry Gleason

February 9, 2016

Thinking of you, Dawn.

Raynn morrison

February 8, 2016

Dawn was a well loved person from all around the world.

Sonya King

November 30, 2015

Thinking of you and your beautiful smile and spirit, Dawn. You're greatly missed. God bless and continued prayers to the family.

Charlotte Sepulveda

September 4, 2015

Heavenly Father you have an Angel up there who love animals and whales with a passion. Put her besides Poseidon and she will have him looking at the waters in a whole new light. Bless her husband and family always.

Emylee Eyler

June 27, 2015

Dawn is an inspiration to everyone around the world, and we will forever remember her love and devotion.

Theresa Taylor

June 21, 2015

Dawn's life and memory will burn like the flame on this candle, Forever. Her love for Marine Life was her passion, it will reflect lives of Orca's and Hers like the reflection of this candle. Love and Passion for Marine Life lives on thru Dawn from this day on for an eternity. God Bless you Dawn , you are missed by your friends and family. Your Orcas' miss you.