470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton MA 01720


Jeanette M. (Hilyard) Dawson

Jeanette M. (Hilyard) Dawson

Monday, August 24th, 2020
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Jeanette (Hilyard) Dawson, of Stow, passed away on August 24th, 2020 in Boston at 87 years old.

Jeanette was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to David and Ethel Hilyard. She was married for 63 years to Thomas M. Dawson. She went to the University of Nebraska where she studied teaching and home economics. After college, she moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and taught elementary school for one year at which time she met Tom and became a full-time housewife and eventually mother to her six children. She moved with her family many times during those years as her husband's jobs took them to Phoenix, AZ; North Hollywood and Artesia, CA; Hartford and Thompsonville, CT; Syracuse and Clifton Park, NY; then to Stow, MA where they lived for 47 years. During that time, she participated in many activities to support her children, including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and various church activities. As her children grew older, she became a dental assistant working for Paquette Family Dental Group in Hudson, MA. Jeanette walked 2 to 3 miles every day until recently. She enjoyed spending time with her children and her grandchildren, camping at Lake George, NY, and traveling. She also enjoyed watching musicals and gardening. She was a hard-working, caring and giving person, always positive, with a smile on her face and a wonderful laugh that would brighten your day.

She is survived by her husband, Tom, her six children and their spouses: Cathie Olson and husband Geoff of Camas, WA; Laurie Herrick and husband Dave of Leominster, MA; Kurt Dawson and wife Diane of Groton, MA; John Dawson and wife Eileen of Northboro, MA; Becky Diercks and husband John of Hopkinton, MA; and Mark Dawson and wife Kerri of Auburn, MA. She is also survived by her 14 grandchildren: Brittany and Brandon Herrick; Jared, Mitchell, Ryan, Shane and Dylan Dawson; Katie, Bryan and Maureen Dawson; Justin and Connor Diercks; Kyle Dawson and Christine Keogh. She is also survived by her brother, Ralph Hilyard and his wife Glenda of Mitchell, NE and his family. She is predeceased by her sister Norma Massina, formerly from Mitchell, Nebraska.

There will be a private service on September 1st in Acton at Acton Funeral Home, with a burial following at Brookside Cemetery in Stow. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to her favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity, or to the American Heart Association.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Brookside Cemetery
    Rte 62/Gleasondale Road
    STOW, MA 01775
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence


Posted at 10:31am
John and family, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. You were blessed to have such a caring, involved mother. She is now watching over you and yours. Sending prayers and hugs.

Kelly Fucci

Posted at 10:25am
John and family,
We are so saddened to hear about the loss of your mother and offer our deepest condolences. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Very Sincerely,
Your Umass family

Otello Castagnanova

Posted at 09:32am
I am very sorry to hear about your loss, sending prayers to you and your family during this hard time.

Otello Castagnanova

Carmella Mutassi

Posted at 08:50am
Mark & Kerri,
So very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Peace & Love
Carmie & Andy

Thomas Levesque

Posted at 08:38am
Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

Tom & Laurie Levesque

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