Wyatt Wagner Dawson, Jr.
Wyatt Wagner Dawson passed on Sunday, September 1, 2013, the weekend he organized a family reunion for 45 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; they all celebrated his life and legacy together.
Wyatt led an adventurous life, from hunting on the great African plains and a lifelong pursuit of muskies and turkeys to testifying before congress in the 1960s when he was Group Vice President for Rexnord, a worldwide industrial company. He was intellectually driven to seek an Objectivist perspective, raising his children to think for themselves and always do the best that they could do, whatever the endeavor. His Stanford M.E. graduate degree was to be the foundation of a lifelong pursuit to fix, engineer or fabricate almost anything that organized the mundane, and made sense of a chaotic world. Murphy's Law was not a threat to Wyatt.
Our father, and husband, will be remembered for his fairness and rewards for a job well done. He was mission driven, providing his family of five children the experience to stay safe and enjoy themselves whether on a horse pack trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or fishing in the Great Lakes aboard the "Yellowtail," a 30 foot cabin-cruiser he captained with the precision only his power squadron credential could afford.
Wyatt served as a 1st Lieutenant in World War II, flying in the "Club 400" B-24 Bomber as chief navigator. The Club 400, named after a NY nightclub that sold war bonds for planes, tallied over 100 missions of which 27 Wyatt flew earning an Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters before an honorable discharge 24 July 1944. As his journal notes, he spent most of his discharge day in a processing line with Captain Ronald Reagan. "A real nice down to earth guy."
He returned from active duty to marry his high school sweetheart Marilyn Murray on March 24th, 1946 in Los Angeles, California. They celebrated their 67th anniversary this past spring.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman his entire life and traveled the world chasing big game as well as booking trips and safaris for others. He was a member of Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, serving as president, and served on the Board of Directors for Gehl Corporation and Junior Achievement.
The Pride carries on with wife, mother Marilyn at the lead, daughters Carolee, Mary Lou and Sally followed by sons Bill and Hugh. 10 Grandchildren and 14 Great Grandchildren round out the family today. We all miss him dearly.
Military services will be held on Friday, September 6th at the DFW National Cemetery at 9:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Hillsdale College, 33 East College Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242 or the Texas Wildlife Association, 2800 North NE Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, TX 78218. Ted Dickey West Funeral Home is handling arrangements for the family. For online condolences, visit www.teddickeywestfuneral.com.