James Patrick Dawson, 87, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, formerly of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at Roper Hospice Cottage.
He was born January 21, 1934, the son of John Edwin and Ercelle Marie (Rogers) Dawson in San Pedro, California. James graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1953. He attended Hanover College, USMC Officer Candidate School and USMC Flight School. On June 15, 1957, James married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Keahey at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.
In 1955, James joined the Marine Corps. He served tours in Vietnam as a fighter pilot in an F-4 Phantom with several squadrons, including the Black Knights. After flying, he served as a Special Services Officer that oversaw all social services at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina. Under his leadership, he was responsible for designing their first state of the art gym using Nautilus equipment and opening the first preschool on base. He retired from the USMC in 1977.
James joined Security Bank and Trust (later Old National Bank) in 1977 as a Trust Officer and later became a Vice President. Of the many highlights there, managing and distributing monies to the community through the Kate Froman Trust and managing clients’ portfolios were some of his favorites. In 1993, James retired from the banking industry. After retirement, James and Patricia moved to and enjoyed many years living in The Villages, Florida.
James enjoyed volunteer work in the community. He spent many Ag Days working the Lions Club Booth making curly fries, helped with the Fourth of July fireworks crew, and designed and help build the Lions Club Christmas parade float—earning First Place! James loved to golf, build model airplanes, go to Classic Car Shows (he had a 1931 Chevy), dancing with Patricia and traveling. He was a sports fanatic and a bourbon connoisseur.
After retirement, James and Patricia went on many trips with family and friends. Some of his favorites included the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales, then touring London with daughter Nida and son-in-law Jason; Greece with Patricia and a group of dear friends, including his best friend, Jimmy Lee Pappas; Australia and New Zealand with Patricia; skiing in Japan while stationed there; and Disney Cruises with the entire family.
He was a member of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the Elks and Lions Club.
Left to cherish James’ memory are his wife of 63 years, Patricia; children Julia Seaton and husband Gregory from Mount Pleasant, SC, and Nida Hedge and husband Jason from Brentwood, TN; grandchildren Lauren and Hannah Seaton, Jessica, Colin, Tristan and Ava Hedge; and a cousin who was like a brother, Donald Bailey.
James was preceded in death by his parents, son John Wade Dawson and brother Patrick Dawson.
Family and friends are invited for a visitation on Sunday, March 28, 2021, from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. with a Rosary service at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 125 W. 5th Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois.
A Funeral Mass will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Monday, March 29, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Burial will immediately follow at Highland Memorial Cemetery, 1827 College Drive, Mt. Carmel, Illinois.
COVID-19 precautions, wearing of face coverings, social distancing and use of hand sanitizer is recommended for visitation and funeral service.
Memorials can be made to St. Mary’s Catholic School, 417 Chestnut Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois 62863, or Roper Hospice Cottage, 676 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464. Envelopes will be available at the church and Short-Cunningham Funeral Home.
Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the Dawson family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Patrick Dawson, please visit our floral store.
St. Mary's Catholic School
417 Chestnut Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Roper Hospice Cottage
676 Wanda Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant SC 29464