Catherine Hayden Dawson Cook, cherished mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, daughter, and wife died peacefully on January 5, 2020 at her home in New Madrid, at the age of 87. Catherine was born August 23, 1932 in Caruthersville, Mo. to the late J.A. “Peck” and Letha Hayden. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband George W. Dawson, Sr., two children, infant son Paul Joseph Dawson and Melissa Dawson Hunter, one sister Ellis Marie Coleman (Kinsey), one brother Joseph Anselm “Joe Peck” Hayden, Jr., one daughter-in-law Jane Ann Dawson, and one great-granddaughter Alyisa Riley. Catherine was also preceded in death by her second husband of twenty-nine years, Bill Cook.
Catherine was the much loved mother of George “Gee” W. Dawson, Jr., Hayden Kevin Dawson, Sr., Malinda Dawson Grunwald (Jeff) all of New Madrid, and Dixie Marie Dawson and Barb Straker of St. Louis. In addition, she is survived by two stepchildren, Karla Drury of St. Augustine, FL, Danny Cook (Jennifer) of Pensacola, FL, one brother Henry Thomas Hayden (Donna) of Caruthersville, son-in-law Sam Hunter III (Leslie), daughter-in-law Lisa Martin Dawson of New Madrid and son-in-law Dan Drury of Cape Girardeau.
Survivors also include fourteen grandchildren: Jordan Drury (Keasha), Samuel “Lathe” Latham Hunter IV (Jessica), Catherine “Katie” Cooper (Buddy), Jamie Drury McDowell (Matt), Laura Dixie Hunter Whittle (Nate), Justin Drury (MacKenzie), Sarah Dawson Leible (Chris), Emily Dawson, Hayden Kevin Dawson, Jr. (Amber), George W. Dawson III, Hannah Dawson Colbert (Jason), and Patricia Dawson Hunter. Catherine leaves behind thirty-four great grandchildren as well as very special life-long friend Mary Jarett and a number of other loving relatives and close friends.
Catherine had a strong and enduring faith and was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in New Madrid. She epitomized the definition of a lady - always gracious and kind, quick with a smile or a gentle word for any and all. Catherine had an unfailing loyalty to her family and was a selfless individual and mother. She was no stranger to adversity or pain but remained appreciative of life’s gifts and always joyful in spirit. Any child who was lucky enough to pile into the family station wagon can attest to Catherine’s zest for adventure.
Catherine’s family and friends were her passion and delight. For decades she graciously hosted family gatherings filled with laughter, food, and drink. She was also a warm, loving daughter and granddaughter and fondly remembered her “Mimi” living with her family when she was a child. She attributed her own sense of humor to her “Mimi.” Catherine’s hospitality and generosity of spirit will endure in her family and friends.
Mom/Catherine, we love you and will miss you. We will think about you forever and always.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Latham Hunter, Kevin Dawson, Gee Will Dawson, Jordan Drury, Justin Drury, and Daniel Cook.
Honorary pallbearers are Sam Hunter III, Larry Rost, R.D. James, Joe Broughton, Peter Rost, N.J. Nowell, Clement Cravens, Jon Gregory DeLisle, Richard Phillips, Bill Henry, and Bruce Robinson.
A visitation will be held Friday, January 10, 2020 at Richard’s Funeral Home in New Madrid from five until eight o’clock p.m. with The Holy Rosary at seven-thirty. Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in New Madrid at noon on Saturday, January 11, 2020, officiated by Father Dominic Ibok.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of New Madrid or the New Madrid Historical Museum.
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