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The children of Virgie Joanne Dawson and her grandchildren are celebrating a true Kalispell love story. Virgie was born in Kalispell on November 30th, 1935 and was followed three years later by her sister Beryl (Billi). Virgie’s parents Hugh and Virginia Shoemaker were also longtime residents. Hugh, the oldest of 10 children, was also born in Kalispell. The Shoemakers raised the girls in their home just north of the fairgrounds. Virgie participated in school plays and music and graduated from Flathead County High School in 1954. While on a double date in her junior year with her cousin Marie, they invited a boy named Bill, because he had a car. Bill always had a car. Marie fondly recalled that story last summer with Virgie, remembering that, even though Virgie was not Bill’s date, Virgie made it clear that “he was the one for her!” They courted for a short time and were married July 3rd, 1954. Michael was born soon after followed by Monica and Tony. The family spent many summer weekends camping and enjoying their favorite local places like Echo Lake, The North Fork and Hungry Horse reservoir. Virgie was always comfortable with the camping life and the chores and challenges that came with it. Virgie loved to garden, always had the best raspberry patch and beautiful flowers and house plants. She sewed, knitted and crocheted treasures for many family members. She also cared deeply for her cocker spaniel and miniature schnauzer dogs. All holidays were spent with extended family whether the Shoemaker or the Dawson side, she loved anything “family” and her beautiful smile came easy at the mention of her children and grandchildren’s successes.
64 years of marriage brings with it celebrations and struggles but no one can argue the fact that Virgie and Bill were truly in love and committed to each other from their beginning in high school, through to their final days. Bill passed on July 28th and only a short seven months later, on March 7th, 2019, Virgie followed. Separated for only a short time, we find comfort in the knowledge that, through their unquestionable faith, they are once again joined together.
Virgie is survived by her children, Mike Dawson (Ellen) of Olalla WA, Monica Craven (Larry) of Kalispell, Tony (Lisa) of Kalispell, and grandchildren Jessica & Erin, Daniel & Matthew, Ashley, Gabe & Chad and 6 great grandchildren, and by her sister, Beryl Ruth Thomas of Coeur D’Alene Idaho.
A memorial service will be celebrated at Central Christian Church, 248 2nd Ave E in Kalispell on Saturday May 4th at 11:00am following a private family graveside service. A reception will follow the memorial in the basement of the church where all are welcome.
The family asks that memorials be made to the Humane Society of NW Montana or the Flathead Animal Shelter.
Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Virgie and her family.