Cover photo for JoAnne Dawson's Obituary
JoAnne Dawson Profile Photo

JoAnne Dawson

October 13, 1935 — March 10, 2024

Central Lake

JoAnne Dawson

JoAnne Alice Dawson, 88, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, March 10, 2024. 

JoAnne was born in Detroit, Michigan, on October 13, 1935, the first child of Urban and Alice Denomy, a 100% French/Canadian as later tests would show.

When JoAnne was a teenager, the family moved again, this time to Eastport where she began school at Central Lake, soon meeting the love of her life, Eugene Dawson.  The couple married in April of 1954, and briefly moved to Pontiac where their first son Jeffrey was born.  Quickly tiring of city life, the couple returned to Central Lake eventually purchasing 120 acres on Mitchell Road where they were to remain the rest of their lives.

Joanne spent the early years of their marriage as a homemaker, giving birth to two more sons, Michael and Steven, and honing her skills as a baker and chef.  Her baked beans became a must have at all family gatherings.  When tough times hit in the 70’s, JoAnne returned to the work force; first as a part-time secretary at a local lumber company, and later worked full-time at Camp Hayo-Went-Ha where she was to remain until her retirement.   JoAnne loved her career at Hayo-Went-Ha; she literally made friends from around the world, many of whom she was to remain in touch with even after retiring.

Upon retirement, JoAnne lived a quiet life and could often be seen riding her bike or hiking around the neighborhood.  She and Gene enjoyed many “Day Trips” hiking along the lakeshore and ending the day with ice cream.

JoAnne lived a long, happy, productive life, but not one without its challenges and heartaches.  She endured the loss of her son Michael to illness far too young, fought and won a battle with cancer in her early 80’s, and watched her beloved Gene lose his own cancer battle just two years ago.  One thing she never lost though was her ability to smile and remain positive, no matter what.  

JoAnne is survived by her children, Jeffrey (Diane) Dawson and Stephen (Patti) Dawson; siblings, Richard Kruse and Sharon (Wayne) Oliver; grandchildren, Noah, Connor, and Kelsey; and many cousins, nieces, & nephews.

The family is planning a celebration of life at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, 919 N. East Torch Lake Dr., Central Lake, Michigan 49622 to be allocated to camper scholarships.

Arrangements are in the care of the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign her online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of JoAnne Dawson, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1501

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree