Dawn (O'Neal) Wilson
February 6, 1962 – September 9, 2019
Make Every Day Count…
Dawn O’Neal Wilson (February 6, 1962 – September 9, 2019) has passed from this earth to her eternal home in heaven. She spent the last five years of her life battling stage four inflammatory breast cancer that moved into her brain after the first year of her battle.
Instead of trying to figure out all of the theological how’s and why’s, Dawn decided early on that she was going to follow the admonition of Psalm 90:12 - Teach us to use wisely all the time we have. She prayed and worked to make each day count. She wanted one more day to serve God’s Great Purpose. Her family include: husband Randy, daughter Emily, son-in-law John, and grandson Jamie. Also, her parents Gene and Joyce O’Neal, her sisters Maire Shannon Shiu and Dorri Jones. Each in their own way have been changed forever by Dawn’s life and battle.
Dawn was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her ever wise parents, as soon as they could, moved her to Texas where she spent the rest of her life. She grew up in Midland, Houston and Dallas. Graduating from J.J. Pearce High School in 1980, she then went to Baylor as had her father and studied to become a teacher.
While at Baylor, on a semi-blind date, Dawn met her future husband Randy. They were married right after graduation in 1984. For the next 35 years she faithfully followed him all across Texas in his meandering career trek. She made every single day count because of her deep and faithful love that never once waivered. She worked hard at love and lived to see much of its harvest.
Dawn fought to make each day count as a teacher. She taught math to middle schoolers in San Antonio, Plano and Sugar Land. In 1999 she earned her MEd from HBU and in 2006 her EdD from the UH. In 1999 Dawn began working at HBU, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students preparing to become teachers themselves. While fighting her battle with cancer, Dawn continued to teach full time. To be involved in the learning of her students was an overwhelming driving force pushing her through each day.
Dawn and her daughter Emily have shared a wonderful and unique bond. They both became teachers and instructional technology specialists. While making this dark and harsh journey it was always Dawn’s central longing to stand beside Emily as she started her teaching career and then especially when she became a new mother. Dawn wanted to make each day with Emily count as she provided advice, a listening ear and unfailing support.
She was a friend and colleague to so many over the years. Friendships for her centered around her three passions; her faith, teaching/learning and making something to decorate her house. As she grew up, friendships started at church. So many of these from her youth were still vibrant until her last days. Most of her close contacts day in and day out centered on her professional life, teaching and mentoring future teachers. She worked closely with others for years in this collaborative endeavor, focusing her final years advising, teaching, meeting and counseling in ways she hoped mattered the most.
Dawn was a dedicated HBU Husky for twenty years, but her heart and soul were forever on the banks of the Brazos. Hers was a Baylor family, every day of her life. She had season football tickets for most of her married years and endured the agony and ecstasy with pride. Her friendships, education and lifelong memories are deeply connected to her alma mater. She never let her battle with cancer interfere with her trips to Waco and in 2017, despite her daily struggles, she joined hundreds of other women alums and dashed across the entire football field as honorary Baylor Line members.
From an early age and into her war with cancer, Dawn’s faith was a light, a shield and a map. She never doubted in her hope and truly experienced God’s presence near to her each day. She drew her unfailing strength from His Spirit and was able to live out a testimony of her trust – not in a long life here and now but in her certain faith in a promised eternity where there will be no more sickness and no more tears. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. – Philippians 1:24
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Tallowood Baptist Church, Gymnasium located at 555 Tallowood Rd, Houston, TX 77024.
- Memorial Service Saturday, September 14, 2019