In Loving Memory of Nellie Jean O’Brien Dawson

by admin on September 29, 2016

dawson-nellie-more-recent-photoNellie Jean (O’Brien) Dawson died on September 27, 2016 at the age of 86. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband John W. Dawson (Lt. Col., USAF), her parents Joseph A. O’Brien and Verna M. (Roth) O’Brien as well as four brothers (Albert, Jim, Lawrence and Joe) and four sisters (Mary, Jeanette, Evelyn and Peggy). She is survived by her five children, Debbie (Phil) Troy, Diane “Scotti” (Mike) Vermaelen, John (Cindy) Dawson Jr., James (Roz Dimon) Dawson and Joe Dawson. She is also survived by her very much loved ten grandchildren Michael Vermaelen, Jason Vermaelen, Daniel (Allie) Vermaelen, William Troy, Olivia Dawson, Travis Vermaelen, Kris Troy, Nicole Vermaelen, Connor Dawson and Nathan Dawson. She is also survived by her brother Frank O’Brien, sisters Patti Nelson, Cecelia Albregts, and Esther Duncan.  Nellie was born the ninth child of 13 children in Lafayette, Indiana.  She was raised on a farm in a talented family of musicians and artists.  She had an opera quality voice and could sing three octaves with ease and was blessed with perfect pitch. She played violin and piano. She was a voice major at Indiana University when she met the love of her life, a handsome red haired pilot.  She gave up a career as an opera singer to become an Air Force pilots’ wife. John and Nellie were married for 60 happy years and raised their five children while moving more than 20 times all over the states and twice in Europe. During these busy years she was the choir director and choir soloist at every church the family attended.  Nellie was a featured singer at the Hasterfoff Hotel in Germany in 1968. She volunteered with local musical theater groups and was the star in local productions of Carmen and Pal Joey’s Red Hot Mamma among others. She was a member of the Air Force Wives singing group the Skylarks, and was their Director for years.  For all of these and many more community and volunteer activities she was the Air Force Wife of the Year in the 1970’s.  In her later years she was a “Million Dollar Round Table” real estate agent, was a Red Hat Lady and was a regular reader at St. Peters’ Catholic Church in Monument, Colorado.  Beyond singing, painting and art were her other loves. She created over 100 paintings, all cherished by her family. She treasured her many long standing friendships and was grateful for the new friends she made at Sunrise at Siegen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Visitation will be held at 9:30am until the funeral service at 10:30am on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 15615 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA.  Interment will be at Oak Lane Memorial Park, in Prairieville.  In lieu of flowers, loved ones can make a donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; or the Baton Rouge Food Bank. Arrangements by Church Funeral Services & Crematory, Baton Rouge 225-293-4174


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