Shirley Mae Dawson (Larson), age 79, passed away on Sept. 3, 2023. Shirley was born to Vera and Ernest Larson, and she was the first child born in Gila County on Jan. 1, 1944.
Shirley is survived by her husband Edward Dawson, her son-in-law Mont Johnson, Becky (Jason) Sowards, Eric (Evelyn) Dawson and Tricia (Erin) Dawson. She was preceded in death by her children Kimberly, Mark and Kathy. She has 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She also has two surviving siblings, Roberta Shellenberger and Jim Larson.
Shirley graduated from Globe High School in 1961. She attended Eastern Arizona College and received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Arizona.
She will be remembered by many through her service in the community and church. She established Gila County Developmental Center and taught at Globe High School and Copper Rim Elementary School. She was on the Globe School Board and served as the school board president. She was elected to the Board of Supervisors for two terms and became the first chairwoman. She was also a businesswoman who owned and operated Better Life Center and Fly-Away Travel Agency. Over the course of almost seven years, she and her husband served three missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with service and humanitarian efforts in Peru, Bolivia, San Carlos Reservation and in Utah at the Church History Center. She epitomized the verse, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.”
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at 10 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lunch/Celebration stories to follow after funeral service. Zoom link https://zoom.us/j/99473501814, meeting ID 92652417958, passcode 17694.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Globe High School Scholarship Fund.
Assisting the family: Lamont Mortuary of Globe.