Funeral service for William Thomas “Bill” Dawson, 84, will be held 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. A private burial will be held for the family in Elmwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8:00 p.m., Monday, February 21, 2011, at DUNBAR FUNERAL HOME, DEVINE STREET CHAPEL. Mr. Dawson died peacefully at home on February 20, 2011, surrounded by his family. Born August 29, 1926, in Columbia, he was the son of the late William Katon and Lois Bass Dawson. Married 62 years to Gretchen Gayden Dawson, he was Mayor of Hand Junior High School and President of Dreher High School class 1943. He attended The Citadel and the University of South Carolina, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. Mr. Dawson entered service for the United States in World War II in 1944 and served in the campaigns in the European theatre, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhineland receiving the following decorations: the Combat Infantry Medal, American Theatre Service Medal, the Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal and the Occupation Medal. Mr. Dawson was recalled to the armed services in the Korean War, serving as a 1st Lieutenant. During this service to his country, he was awarded the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars and received a Purple Heart. He was a lifelong member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. A Christian, a husband, a father, a soldier, and an avid outdoorsman, he loved and cherished his friends from elementary school throughout his entire life. Mr. Dawson was business partners with his father in Bill Dawson and Son Radiator Service, founded in 1929. He was President and CEO of Burns Auto Parts Inc., Auto Parts of Hartsville, Auto Parts of Timmonsville, and Central Carolina Distributors Inc. of Columbia. He served as President for the Automobile Parts Association of S.C. and often provided aid and support for small businessmen in their entrepreneurial endeavors. He was a member of Spring Valley Country Club, Forest Lake Country Club, the Caprician and Quadrille Clubs and former President of the Camellia Ball. Surviving are his wife, Gretchen Gayden Dawson of Columbia; sons, Dr. William Thomas “Toby” Dawson (Jutta) of Mt. Pleasant, Craig Gayden Dawson of Columbia, Katon Edwards Dawson (Candice) of Columbia; daughter, Gretchen Gayden “Gigi” Dawson of Columbia; seven grandchildren, William Thomas Dawson III (Hunter), Christoph Gerhart Dawson, Rebeccah Marie Dawson, Anna Elizabeth Dawson, Katon Edwards Dawson Jr., Martha Jayne Dawson, Catherine Gayden Dawson; two great-grandchildren, William Hunter Dawson, Gretchen Caroline Dawson; numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Katherine Dawson Bascom. Memorials may be made to Trenholm Road UMC, 3401 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29204, American Lung Association of S.C., 1817 Gadsden Street, Columbia, SC 29201, Roper Hospital Foundation, 125 Doughty Street, Suite 790, Charleston, SC 29403 or a charity of one’s choice. Tags: 1947

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