George Dawson

George Dawson, 1921-2017

George Dawson, of Dallas, died in his sleep on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. He was 96-years old.

Brooklyn born and only offspring of Scottish immigrants George and Mary Dawson, he raised homing pigeons on the roof of his apartment building and began a life-long love of music, learning to play the violin, piano and trumpet. After graduating high school, he married his childhood sweet heart, Gertrude “Becky” Becker with whom he had one daughter, Diane. He joined the Army during World War II but served out his tour stateside, playing trumpet in an Army dance band that performed at USO shows.

Upon his discharge, he took a sergeant’s advice and moved to Denton, Texas to enroll in North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) and its world-renowned music program. His talent and studies were rewarded when, after graduation, he joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as a bass player. Being a symphony musician in post-war America was not a full-time occupation so in the “off-season,” he performed with bands for dances and various events at some of Dallas’ marquee downtown hotels and taught classes at community colleges in subjects as varied as music appreciation, fencing and ballroom dancing. It was during this time that he met a young, red-haired model named Kim Garrett.

They married on October 31, 1952 and over the next ten years had three children, Kim, Lisa and George (Tiger). While continuing his tenure with Dallas Symphony, he took up photography. This soon enough led to his second career as a commercial/fashion photographer. In the mid-1960s he became one of the first to be hired by The Photographers Inc., which was establishing itself as one of the city’s top commercial studios. His work as a fashion photographer took him around the globe for shoots in such far-flung locations as Kenya, Thailand, Peru, Greece and Ireland. He retired from commercial photography and joined Kim in his third and final career, running the modeling agency she had founded in 1964, The Kim Dawson Agency.

Along the way, he devoted himself to his many passions, becoming a quietly ferocious tennis player, collecting art, studying French, attending the opera and traveling the world with Kim. But ever always his highest devotion was to his wife and children. He cared lovingly for Kim through her long battle with Alzheimer’s.

George is survived by Diane McGee and husband Bill, Dr. Kim Dawson Vernon and husband John, Lisa Dawson and husband Tom Maurstad, Tiger Dawson and wife Leslie. He had eight grandchildren: Chris Honeycutt, Dana Honeycutt Down, Taylor Vernon, Lauren Prescott, Anna Dawson, Kimberly Dawson, Aidan Maurstad, and two great-grandchildren, Guerin Honeycutt and Dawson Prescott.

Arrangements are pending. 

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