Donald Roy Dawson

Posted On August 5th, 2012 -

On Saturday, July 21, 2012, Donald Roy Dawson passed peacefully at Imperial Point Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. He was 90 years old.
Don, also known to his grandchildren as “Tutu,” was born August 7, 1921 in Hamilton Ontario, Canada, only child to mother Margaret Hannah O’Connor and father Roy Elgin Dawson.
A child of the Depression Era, Don joined the Canadian Army at 18 and served proudly in the Canadian Intelligence Corp throughout the European Theatre of World War II.
Honorably discharged at 24, Don fast-tracked his 8th grade education and, by the time he was 30, earned his high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree in Political Economics from McMaster University and a master’s degree in Commerce from the University of Toronto.
In 1956, Don married Beadie Leina’ala Kanahele at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu. They had four beautiful children together and lived five decades in Nu’uanu Valley.
In 1967, Don was named Hawai’i’s Small Businessman of the Year by one of his mentors, Governor John A. Burns. Don worked as an advertising and marketing executive and trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He established Hawai’i’s first hardwood logging, sawmill and pallet plant operation; a prepaid legal insurance company; and helped launch a successful environmental engineering firm.
Longtime member and lay reader of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu; member of The Pacific Club for 46 years; lifelong Rotarian and founder of Metropolitan Rotary Club of Honolulu and member of the Rotary Club of John Knox Village in Pompano Beach Florida. Don was proud of his Scottish heritage and wore his clan’s colors proudly on numerous occasions.
He is survived by his former wife of 50 years, Beadie Kanahele Dawson; daughter Victoria Lani Arena; daughter Kathryn Malia Song (husband Alan Song M.D.); daughter Donne Dawson; and son Christopher Dawson; grandson Theron Keahi Arena; grandaughters Kylie Malia Arrell; Leina’ala Song; Alana Kanahele Song; and great grand-daughter Khloe Arrell.
Private services will be held on August 7 which would have been Don’s 91st birthday. Donations in Memory of Don Dawson can be made to “The Desmond Tutu Outreach Fund” c/o The Cathedral of St. Andrew, 229 Queen Emma Square Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813.
“Good Night Sweet Prince; and Flights of Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest.”

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran