Dr. George Dawson passed from this life into the arms of his Lord and Savior surrounded by friends and family on March 28, 2023.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, March 31, 2023, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. A celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 1, in the Sanctuary at First Baptist Church, 1333 N. 3rd, under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
George Albert Dawson was born on September 26, 1931, in Georgetown, TX, to George Bryan and Bernice Coffman Dawson. As a child he loved to explore, hike, and play on the railroad tracks and along the banks and bluffs of the San Gabriel River.
George graduated from Georgetown High School in 1948 where he was in the band and active in the youth group at First Baptist Church. From there he went on to major in Chemistry at Southwestern University, which was right next door to the Dawson family home.
Upon graduation from Southwestern University in 1952, George married his high school sweetheart, the love of his life, and wife of 69 years, Dorthy Louise Reagan. One week later he enrolled at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
On Christmas day 1954 they celebrated the birth of their daughter Dell Renan. In 1957, while at Cannon Air Force base in Clovis, NM, George performed the delivery of his son, George Steven.
In 1959 George and his growing family received a compassionate transfer to Dyess Air force base so that Dell Renan could receive services at the newly founded West Texas Rehabilitation Center. Lyndal Louise and John Martin were born in Abilene in 1960 and 1963.
Shelly Smith, the founder of the WTRC, was a childhood friend of the Dawson family from Georgetown. Shelly not only provided services for Nan, he and George raised cattle together. Shelley was instrumental in George becoming involved in volunteering for the Rehab Center.
George opened his medical practice in Abilene in 1959. George was a dedicated general practitioner who took care of his patients from cradle to grave. Through the years he delivered over 4,000 babies in Taylor County. He was the rare doctor who perfectly combined a love for medical science with a love and compassion for people. He started and ended his career making house calls, but he also performed surgery on patients, livestock, and even pets. In honor of his medical service he received the Gold Headed Cane Award in 2004. He also was recognized with numerous other volunteer service awards.
In addition to volunteer service for the Rehab Center George was also actively involved in short term medical missions with the Southern Baptist Convention. The legacy and footprints of his medical ministry can be found around the globe. He served on the Texas-Mexico border, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, and India. In recognition of his service he received the Marie Mathis Lay Ministry award from the Baptist Standard.
In 2000 George became the medical director for Hospice of the Big Country. His role as a hospice physician was the natural culmination to his 39 years of family medicine. He felt that meeting families’ medical, emotional, and spiritual needs was his greatest privilege and joy. In recognition of his service, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization and Master Physician Award from the American Institute of Geriatrics.
George is preceded in death by his older brother Roger Bryan and younger brothers Thomas Frederick and Robert Gene Dawson, as well as his wife Dorthy.
He is survived by his four children, Dell Renan Dawson, Steve Dawson and wife Kay, Lyndy Edwards, and Martin and wife Lucy. His pride and joy were his twelve grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
George's favorite hymn was "Serve The Lord With Gladness", and that is what he did every day. George had an optimism and a joy for living that touched the lives of all he met. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center or Hospice of the Big Country.