04/26/1935 - 12/28/2019
Service Date: 01/11/2020
Service Time: 11 AM
Service Location: Gateway Fellowship Church, 60 N. Recker Road, Gilbert, AZ 85234

Mildred Nanette Dawson, known to her friends as Nan, and to her grandchildren and great grandchildren as Nanny, is now at peace in the arms of her savior. God called her home on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at the age of 84.  She is survived by her loving husband, Donald Dawson, and their four children — Lori Ann Singleton, Jenice Hughes, Don Paul Dawson and Jon Mark Dawson. One thing Nan so enjoyed was being “Nanny” to 12 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She cherished family celebrations where she could be surrounded by them all.

Nan was born on April 26, 1935 in a modest farmhouse in Wills Point, Texas, a small town outside of Dallas, to Archie Neal and Mildred Loreen Herrin.  She was a beloved sister to her older and younger brothers, Archie Neal Herrin Jr and John Herrin, who preceded her in death.  She met her husband Donald, as the two of them lived across the street from each other in high school.  It’s said — Nan and her mom would sit on the front porch drinking iced tea so that she might catch Don’s eye when he walked home from his after-school job at the newspaper.  And that she did!  After their courtship as high school sweethearts, Don and Nan married on November 7, 1953.  They moved to Arizona in March of 1967, raising four children in Mesa, and then retiring in Gilbert.  In November of this year, they celebrated 66 years of marriage – her love for Don, and his love for her, enduring for eternity.

Being a mother and loving wife filled her life with joy, but she also loved her hobbies. Whether it was macramé, stamping, basket weaving, or sewing her girls’ dresses when they were young, her hands were busy.  In more recent years, she made hundreds of beautiful, intricate greeting cards.  She also was a fine bowler in her day and enjoyed team tournaments and trips to Las Vegas with her women’s team.

While Nan was busy raising four children, she always found time to be active in her church until more recently when health issues made it impossible.  Her faith was strong.  Over the years, she taught various Sunday school classes and in the early 70s, she and Don had a bus route to pick up children in South Phoenix for Sunday services.  She led women’s groups, sang in the choir, organized Vacation Bible Schools, and held positions as the church day care administrator and church secretary.  Down home sermons and good old-fashioned gospel music nourished her soul.

Nan was feisty, she was strong and independent, and there wasn’t a kid or grandkid who didn’t “snap to” when Nanny said so!  Her life was defined by her faith, her family and her friends.  She will live always in the hearts of those she loved dearly and those who loved her.

A memorial service is planned for 11am on Saturday, January 11 at the Gateway Fellowship Church, 60 N Recker Road, Gilbert.  Attendees are also invited to join the family for a lunch reception at the church immediately following the service.


  • Jonelle Schmidt

    I’m sorry for your families loss.

  • Charlie and Loretta Peele

    GOD bless you Jenice and Tom. Sorry for your loss but happy for Heavens gain

  • I would like to send my condolence to the family. Mrs Dawson will truly be missed by so many. Will be praying for your family through this difficult time.

  • Linda and Damon DeBusk

    We are so sorry about Nans passing. We always enjoy seeing and talking to her at the DeBusks family events. She was a special Lady and will be missed a lot.

  • I am praying for all of the family in your loss. May Christ bring you comfort and peace. He is always there for us to call on him. Nan is in Heaven and at Peace with God. May your days ahead get better with Christ at your side walking with you.

  • Michelle Elsesser Mahr

    God bless you all❤️

  • So sorry for your loss; sounds like she was a special lady. She is home now with Jesus. Praying for you and your family.

  • Cydney Jay Vargo

    Jenice and Lori,
    My heart aches for all of you, there is nothing that I could say to ease you through the loss of your mom. Know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you both
    Cydney and Jay Vargo

  • Jennifer Burton

    Nanny you will forever ve missed. Im sorry I wasnt around alot like I should have been. Forever in my heart you will be. I love you

  • Rest in peace my friend go bowl the big one

  • We miss you so much already Mom! You will be in our hearts forever.

  • A beautiful tribute to a loved family member. I have known Jenice for several years and, after reading this tribute, I can see her mother’s love reflected in her daughter. Condolences to the family.

  • It truly enjoyed meeting and talking your Mother! I saw what a special loving relationship she and your Dad had. She will be missed by many. So sorry for your loss!

  • Anne Marie Chaney

    I am sorry for your family’s loss Jenice.

  • Sharon Metheney

    So sorry to hear of Nan’s passing.

  • Dorothy & Ira Tittle

    Nan and I were in a group of girlfriends in Wills Point High,. We had lots of sleepovers and picnics at Myrtle Springs, We are so sorry for your loss but I do know that you and Nan had a long and loving relationship and I can’t imagine having to go forward in life without your soulmate. Don, I truly hope you and your family can remember the good times. Dot & Ira

  • Leonard & Pat Letwak

    We have missed you both since you left the RV Park. We are so sorry for your loss. It is everyone’s loss. She was a great Lady and always made us happy to see her. Rest in peace my dear friend!!!

  • Rosie Echtermeyer

    Sorry for your loss praying for the family God Bless

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