Mary Catherine Dawson


Mary Catherine "Cathy" Dawson was a true original. Effortlessly minimalistic, fit and healthy, loving and unapologetically herself.

She loved to help people. She was known for her generosity and hospitality. She took in all kinds of people and animals. Her home was a haven to many who needed it along the way. She tutored, took care of the sick, provided bikes for children and provided experiences of all kinds for many children and families.

She loved her family. She was always there to listen and support both emotionally and practically. She loved to attend the events and games of her grandchildren and to go places with them. She especially loved to take her children and grandchildren to the Indianapolis Zoo, Children's museum, Cocoa Beach Florida and anything out doors.

She loved to be with her bike club and enjoyed her rides with them to the fullest. She liked to exercise at the YMCA and walk the neighbor's dog, Tucker. She always said, "when you stop moving, you get old."

She loved the land. She loved her flowers and plants. She loved her gardens and she loved farming with Dawson Farms for 33 years.

She loved her spiritual group where she found love and support.

She had a pure spirit. Slow to anger and quick to forgive. Trusting to a fault. Hard to offend. She will be missed by many in many different ways.

Cathy was born in Weirton, West Virginia on February 27, 1948 to John and Grace Copitka.

She attended and received her Masters Degree from Ohio State University in 1970. She coached gymnastics at Columbus Ohio Parks and Recreation department and then moved to Greensburg where she coached gymnastics at the Greensburg YMCA. She also volunteered as a track coach for South Decatur High School and the White River Park Games.

From 1990 to 1991, Cathy planted over 6000 trees on land that she and her husband owned. In 1993 she was honored as Conservation Farmer of the Year in Decatur County and Area 5 for the state of Indiana. She also served on the Decatur County Soil and Water Board.

Cathy is survived by her three children; daughters, Becky Greenlee and Susan Thackery and son, Steven Dawson. She is also survived by her sister, Wendy Jenkins; nine grandchildren, Jordan Hickam, Rodney Ford, Cameron Whited, Ethan Thackery, Erica Thackery, Trey Greenlee, Scarlett Dawson, R.J. Greenlee and Janae Greenlee, and ex-husband; Rob Dawson.

She was preceded in death by her parents; John and Grace Copitka and brother; Johnny Copitka.

We will be gathering for a celebration of her life on July 5 at 5pm under the Pagoda in Garfield Park, Indianapolis. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or donations that you consider donating blood or making a contribution to the Indiana Blood Center. Cathy was a routine blood donor.
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Published on July 2, 2019
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7 posts

Jul 04, 2019
I first met Cathy in our Monday night group, and I was immediately taken with her energetic spirit. I feel she always inspired all of us to think outside of ourselves more, and to explore ways that we could contribute to make the world a better place. In our last time with Cathy, she led us in some yoga deep breathing exercises. This has inspired me to re-explore ways that I can begin doing some yoga again. I feel I was lucky to have been able to spend some time with her, sharing car rides, talking, and getting to know one another a little better. I just wish that time had been longer. Perhaps selfishly, I knew there was so much I could have learned from Cathy. Her inspiration will never sto...p, because she had so many friends and family that will never forget her, her lessons, her laughter, and her love.Read more
Sandy Stafford
Jul 04, 2019
I enjoyed Cathy loving spirit. She always wore a smile, and was caring and kind at heart. I will miss our talks. The worlds light has grown a bit dimmer, she will be missed dearly. Until we meet again...
Deana Taylor Nadeau
Jul 03, 2019
Your mother and I were childhood friends, all the way through high school. She has left you a wonderful legacy in her vibrant, caring personality and independent spirit. I know her love will follow you for always.
Jul 03, 2019
Kathy was always happy in our Monday night group. When it was her turn to lead, it was with a very interesting subject. She also shared her gift of massage, going around our circle and providing relief from the tensions of the day. She will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace.
Peter Grazier
Jul 03, 2019
To her children, I write this message with a heavy heart, imagining how much you must have loved your mother. She was easily lovable. I was a junior in high school and Cathy was a freshman. I asked her to her first prom, then later learned that her brother John had asked my sister (2 years behind him also in school) to her first prom. Your mom and I dated (OK, were boyfriend and girlfriend) for 2 years. I was so taken with her beauty, her zest for life, her happiness, and so much more. Both of our parents had boats on the Ohio River near our homes, and Cathy and I water skied often. She was truly competitive and loved trying to outdo me. When I went away to college (a military school) she ha...nd made me a blanket with my unit's symbol and school colors. Life, however, has it's own path and we drifted apart. I married while in the army during Viet Nam, and then later attended your mother's wedding. I will honestly say that I never fell completely out of love with her. She holds a very special place in my heart. She was a lady of quality in the deepest sense, and I am better for having known her. I am sure she lived life on her terms, and that is one of the greatest blessings we can have at this time. Know that I am sending you my very deepest condolences, and more, some semblance of peace and serenity at this time. Your mother touched this earth with her beauty and grace...and we are all better for it.
Peter Grazier, Portland, Oregon
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Ronald Haight
Jul 03, 2019
She was a special person. She will be missed.
Don & Jaime Trimble
Jul 02, 2019
Becky and family, We are so sorry for the loss of your mom. We have some wonderful memories of our times together. Cathy was such a giver. She was always quick to lend a helping hand. We will never go to the zoo or children's museum without remembering our visits with Cathy. She was such a fun tour guide! You will be in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. We love you.