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Mary Dolores Dawson

Obituary for Mary Dolores Dawson

April 10, 1926 - May 15, 2017
| Age 91


Mary Dolores (Cormier) Dawson, (Yaya) 91, died peacefully on Monday, May 15, 2017 surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Manchester, NH the daughter of Marie (Cormier) Creighton of Boston, MA.

Mary Dolores, also known as Dolores, "Del" and "The Big D", was raised by the Sisters of Mercy at St. Patrick's Orphanage in Manchester with dozens of orphanage sisters. Named for the Blessed Mother, Mary Dolores was a very gifted child who taught herself to play the harmonica and piano. She was spirited, strong willed and selfless as a child and throughout her life. She loved performing song and dance at the yearly St Patrick's fund raisers. She excelled in school and graduated from Manchester's St. Josephs High School for girls in 1944. Dolores's dream was to become a nurse.

Dolores was a resident of Auburn, NH for many years where she raised her four children and was the Superintended of Sunday School for the Longmeadow Congregational Church. Dolores was ahead of her time as a woman entrepreneur. She established Try-I, Inc, most known for distributing wholesale "grinders" throughout the state of NH for 35 years. She employed many Auburn residents and moved her business to Cedar St., Manchester in 1964. She sponsored many Greek immigrants for employment in the 1960's. The Greek community welcomed and adored Dolores, and so she became known as Yaya with the birth of her first grandchild.

Yaya's greatest joy was her family. Her home was always open and she spent endless hours with her grandchildren; the more the merrier was her philosophy. She enjoyed hosting garage and pool parties, swimming, crocheting, drawing, music of all kinds, NPR and the Red Sox. Yaya is admired for her sense of humor, positive attitude and contagious spirit.

Although blind later in life, she continued to entertain residents of local nursing homes with musical talents: harmonica, piano, and sing-alongs. She was a member and pianist of the NH State Elks Association. She attended Easter Seals of Manchester NH. Her Catholic faith gave her comfort throughout her life and during her death.

She was predeceased by her brother William Creighton, several orphanage sisters, and her former husband, Richard Dawson.

She is survived by her children, Delima (Lee) Fitzgerald-Pierce of Coventry, VT and her husband, Ronald Pierce, Richard T. Dawson of Chichester, NH and his wife, Lisa Dawson, Denise Dawson Smith of Raymond, NH and her husband Peter Smith and Dolores Hooper of Gilford, NH and her husband Leonard Hooper, and her stepdaughter, Judy Dawson Rouleau and husband Louis Rouleau of Gilmanton, NH.

Her Grandchildren, Heather Sheehan Bournival, Farrah Sheehan Deselle, Todd Sheehan, Caily Sheehan Wolfenden, Susan Fitzgerald, Mary Beth Fitzgerald Hill, Marnie Dawson Currier, Jessica and Christen Wagner, Kimberly Peacock, Rachel Marland, Bogart Smith, Walker Smith, Micajah Smith Place, Jamie, Leonard and Cameron Hooper, great grandchildren Tyler Hooper & Phoebe Green, Alexandra Dawson, Braden & Gavin Currier, Liam & Lauren Deselle, Porter Wolfenden, Evangeline Sheehan, Jovie & Myles Hooper, Ben, Emma & Isabella Place, Olive & Clementine Smith, Marcus & Gabriel Marland and great-great grandchild, Vivienne LaChance.

Services: A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 4:00-7:00p.m. at Phaneuf Funeral Home and Crematorium, 234 Hanover St, Manchester, NH with a memorial service to be held on Friday, May 19, 2017 10:00 am also at Phaneuf Funeral Home & Crematorium. She will be laid to rest at Auburn Village Cemetery, Eaton Hill Road, Auburn, NH.

Memorial Donations may be made to Easter Seals New Hampshire, 555 Auburn St, Manchester, NH03103.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Easter Seals
    555 Auburn St.
    Manchester, NH 03103

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Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium - Hanover Street

243 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH 03104
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