Charles Cecil Dawson was born February 17, 1918 to Charles and Jessie (Abbott) Dawson in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was Baptized in The Presbyterian Church of Canada. The family moved many times so Charles grew up and lived in Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Childhood memories: being a Boy Scout; in Baltimore on Good Friday 1925 he was hit by a car (the driver claimed the sun was in his eyes) and sustained a broken ankle; broke his left arm and tried to hide the injury from his mother because doctors cost money, eventually the greenstick fracture was discovered, the arm was re-broken and set; in Baltimore in 1926 his front teeth got chipped when Duncan McPhail kicked him in the mouth. In 1930 Eastman Kodak celebrated 50 years of business and gave away a Brownie camera to every 12 year old. Dad qualified and got one! He graduated second in his class from Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis IN, in 1935 at age 17. During the Depression he joined the CCC and planted trees in Wisconsin. In Milwaukee by 1935, he worked at Ben’s Radio Service Store (419 E. Wells St.); Boston Store’s Radio Repair Shop; as handy man to the Collice Harper Family, and at the Knickerbocker Hotel, where he was operating the elevator on Sunday, December 7, 1941 and heard the news of Pearl Harbor. Drafted by the Army on October 9, 1943, he trained at Fort Sheridan IL, Camp Wallace TX, National Radio School in Los Angeles CA and Fort Stewart GA. While in Milwaukee in June 1942, he met Evelyn Kronberg who was from Bear Creek, WI. On September 16, 1943 they were engaged. On April 23, 1944 they were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bear Creek, WI. His Army service continued at Fort Bragg NC during which he was able to travel to the Cumberland County Courthouse in Fayetteville NC and was granted naturalization and became a US Citizen on November 27, 1944. After Fort Dix NJ he shipped out to England. There at Southampton he boarded a British ship that sailed to Dieppe, France. He was in Regensburg, Germany on VE Day, May 8, 1945. In Shrivenham, England he got involved with AFN Radio which took him to London and there he stayed until it was time to return home. While waiting he was able to visit relatives on his mother’s side in Scotland. On March 14, 1946 he arrived ‘home’ at the farm in Bear Creek, WI where Evelyn was then living with her parents. Thanks to a recommendation from Mrs. Collice Harper, Charles started work at the Wisconsin Telephone Company in Milwaukee on April 15, 1946. He started out climbing poles and installing phones in homes and continued his contribution as AT&T made advancements in the telecommunications industry until his retirement. In September 1946 Charles and Evelyn purchased a house on Hubbard Street in Milwaukee making their home and raising their family with a son, Frederick and a daughter, Cheryl. They became members of Jerusalem Lutheran Church. Charles was a Ham Radio Operator. He received his Amateur Radio license and FCC call letters W9CUW on February 17, 1939. He was an active member of MRAC (Milwaukee Radio Amateur Club), ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League), BEARS (Bell Employee Amateur Radio Society), the Kilocycle Club, and a life member of QCWA (Quarter Century Wireless Association). Wherever he resided he maintained a ‘ham shack’ in the house, and had mobile units in his ‘46 Nash and ‘56 Chevy vehicles which displayed WI Amateur Radio license plates with his call letters W9CUW. He attended many Dayton, OH Ham Conventions. [In Ham Radio lingo he is now a Silent Key] On July 7, 1976 Charles retired from AT&T. He and Evelyn moved to Evelyn’s family farm in Bear Creek, WI and maintained residence there for 40 years. Always in good health, Charles worked tirelessly and effortlessly to transform the rustic farm property into a gentlemen’s country estate. They joined Trinity Lutheran Church, got reacquainted with cousins and neighbors and became involved with the community. Charles installed life lines for seniors at home as an AT&T retiree volunteer. They traveled throughout the United States, to Europe and the Holy Land. Important travels: on June 1, 2010, Charles took his Old Glory Honor Flight. This was a very big deal. A one-day trip to Washington DC to see the WWII Memorials was highlighted by a surprise visit from his grandson Matthew who showed up in his full dress blue Army uniform. Later that year, he and Evelyn traveled to see their only two grandchildren get married: Matthew in Savannah, GA and Annie in Durango, CO. Charles and Evelyn were married 70 years on April 23, 2014. After Evelyn passed away on December 21, 2014, Charles moved to St. Joe’s Residence in New London, WI.
Charles is survived by his son Frederick (Mary Ann) and daughter Cheryl of Milwaukee; grandson Matthew (Kristen) Dawson of Warminster, England; granddaughter Annie (Jay) Willmon of Farmington, NM; great-grandchildren: Abigail, Katherine and Charlie Dawson; Brooks and Chamonix Willmon. Also survived by a sister, Dorothy Jean Marinkovich of Mission Viejo, CA. Charles was Godfather to Julie Kaye (Walker) Wurth of Manawa WI.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bear Creek with the Rev. Steven Pockat officiating. Interment will follow at Union Cemetery, Symco. Charles believed that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. Military honors will be conducted by VFW Post #664, American Legion Post #63, and American Legion Auxiliary Unit #63, all of Clintonville. Friends may call at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Bear Creek, or the family for a memorial to be established at a later date. The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting the family with his arrangements. An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.
The family wishes to thank the staff at St. Joseph Residence for all of the love and care shown to Charles during his stay.