Judge Howard A Dawson Jr.

October 23, 1922July 15, 2016

Howard A. Dawson, Jr. Chief Judge, U.S. Tax Court On July 15, 2016, Howard A. Dawson, Jr. of Bethesda, Maryland. Beloved husband of Marianne Dawson and devoted father of Suzanne D. Vanyur, and the late Amy L. Dawson. He is survived by his brother Dr. Shelton P. Dawson, his adoring grandchildren Jennifer E. Vanyur, Christen E. Vanyur and Allison C. Vanyur and his son-in-law John Vanyur. The family will hold an open house at 3:30pm on Thursday July 21, 2016 at the Rock Creek Mansion 5417 W. Cedar Lane Bethesda, MD 20814. A Celebration of Judge Dawson's Life will begin at 5pm. There will be a private interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. The family requests that memorial contributions in the name of Judge Howard A. Dawson Jr. be made to The Arc Montgomery County 11600 Nebel Street Rockville, Maryland 20852

Arrangements under the direction of Joseph Gawler's Sons LLC, Washington, DC.


  • Reception and Celebration of Life Thursday, July 21, 2016

Judge Howard A Dawson Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?


November 5, 2016

Marianne and family,
We are so sad to learn that Howard will not be joining us on the tennis court on Captiva this year. He will be greatly missed. It was a privilege to know such a lovely man and our thoughts are with you.
With love,
George and Judy Gater

September 25, 2016

Marianne and family---I just finished a note to you and Howard telling you how much we were looking forward to see you in Captiva this year after a years' absence. Went on line to check your zip code and saw the announcement of Howard's death----we will so miss him on our "same time next year" trip to South Seas---especially our marathon ongoing conversations about "just everything"...but, mostly politics. South Seas will just not be the same. Bonnie & Tom Ludlow

Cathy Rudisill

July 21, 2016

Marianne and Suzy - I am so sorry for your great loss.

I met Judge Dawson when he called me at my home in Chapel Hill in the spring of 1983. I was a second year law student and I had sent a resume to the Tax Court seeking a summer clerkship. Vince, the HR Manager, at the Court gave Judge Dawson my resume since he noted I was a UNC graduate - as is Judge Dawson. Judge Dawson called me up, talked to me for about an hour and a half and offered me a job clerking for him the summer of 1983. I did not really believe that someone would hire me from just talking to me on the phone so I told him I would come visit him in DC over spring break. I went to DC and had a great visit with him and tour of the Court and he asked me if I was coming to work for him. Of course, I said yes. Judge Dawson changed my life. I went on to clerk for him after law school and then to work at Hunton & Williams in DC and am now a partner at Nelson Mullins in Raleigh. He was always a very kind, and gracious man. Never acted angry and was always generous with his time. His daughter lived for a awhile in Raleigh and I got to see him a few times when he would come visit her as he would call me and let me know he was here. I told him that I was forever indebted to him for what he had done for me. He very graciously said that what he did paled in comparison to my own achievements. I will never forget you Judge Dawson and the kindness you showed me. Rest in peace sweet man. Go Heels!

Stuart E. Seigel

July 20, 2016

As a young lawyer at the Internal Revenue Service I befriended Judge Dawson when he was an Assistant Chief Counsel. He served as a mentor to me and generously provided me with guidance and thoughtful advice. I remember when he was appointed to the Tax Court in 1962 and his gracious appreciation of my congratulations and good wishes. My legal career advanced and in 1977 I was appointed as the IRS Chief Counsel by President Carter. Although our paths did not cross frequently, we did have occasion to see each other from time to time and reminisce about those early days and how unlikely it would have seemed at that time, and from that perspective, that he would become the Chief Judge of the Tax Court and I the Chief Counsel of the IRS. He was an exceptional lawyer and judge. But, of even greater consequence are the outstanding qualities and values that defined him as an exemplary person of unusual insight, caring, devotion, and morality. I extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all of his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you - and with him. I shall never forget him.

Alan Cathcart

July 19, 2016

I served as law clerk to the Hon. Theodore Tannenwald, Jr. of the Tax Court, from 1974 to 1976. During that time I met and worked with Judge Dawson on many occasions, including assisting with the research and drafting of two opinions. I developed an abiding respect and affection for Judge Dawson as an individual, as well as for the many great deeds he performed as Chief Judge. The world - not just the tax world - has lost a true gentleman. Rest in peace, your Honor.

July 19, 2016

Though I did not know you, your light shines through your children and grandchildren. My friend Suzy is one of most incredible people I know and that is a reflection of the upbringing she had.
Deepest condolences to the family,

N. S.

July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016
Sincere condolences Dawson family. May the God of comfort strengthen you and give you peace as you mourn the loss of your loved one. Psalm 94:17-19

Nelson Neiman

July 19, 2016

Judge Dawson was one of the finest people I ever knew. It was a profound honor to clerk for him for two years; and he had a profound impact on my life. More than just a fine judge, he was a man of fairness, generosity and compassion, as well as a great mentor of many lessons in life. Above all, I remember his genuine interest and love for all of us who had the privilege of working with him.

Ellene Footer

July 18, 2016

Please accept my sincere condolences for Judge Dawson's passing. He was an incredible man with the utmost of compassion and understanding. He possessed an extraordinary mind and historical knowledge of the Tax Court like no other and showed his unwavering continuous support for court personnel throughout his long tenure. Judge Dawson will be terribly missed by all. He was truly a special person...

Mark & Pam Dawson

July 18, 2016

RIP uncle Howard. May the lord provide confort to all during this time of passing.