Funeral services for William E. Dawson, 81, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Heritage Funeral Home, with Dr. Weldon Bowlen officiating. Interment will follow at Killeen Memorial Park.

Mr. Dawson died May 9, 2013, at a Temple hospital. He was born Feb. 23, 1932, in Yates Center, Kan., to the late Harold Dawson and Evelyn Dawson (Nigh). He was raised in Edina, Mo., and attended Edina High School.

After high school, he joined the Army and retired after 26 years with the rank of sergeant major. He was a veteran of the Korean War, where he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He later went on to serve in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star. Among his awards were the Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Korean Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

He worked as a Real Estate agent and retired a second time as a District Branch Manager of ITT Financial Services, where he received the Super Star Award.

He was an accomplished bowler, pool player and very active with his poker buddies, Tommy, Chuck, Charlie, Ed, Dale, George, Ruben, Woody Presley, Tony and John. He also enjoyed woodworking.

He was an honest, God-fearing and a hard working man who loved his children and did everything he could for them. He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren. He adopted children from another country in the early ’60s without regard to society’s opinions or norms even before the Civil Rights Movement began, saying, “I didn’t care if anybody didn’t like the ethnicity of my sons.”

He didn’t just say “love,” he showed it to his fellow man.

Mr. Dawson was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife of 36 years, Carol Dee; a son, Danny L. Dawson, and his sister Thelma Ranck.

Survivors include his sons, Duane M. Dawson and his wife, Elizabeth (Puaoi), of Hawaii, Dean B. Dawson and his wife, Jo Ann, of San Antonio, Dymon S. Dawson of Kansas City, Kan., and Dion P. Dawson and his wife, Kathleen, of Magnolia; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Honorary pallbearers include Jake Lester, Judy, Cathy, Tina and Linda (Ranck family), Albert J Rodriguez (Rod), Jerry Yotter, Duane Iokua Puaoi-Dawson, Loraine Lei Ilimalani Puaoi-Dawson, Dayton Kaimikaua Puaoi-Dawson, David Kaena Puaoi-Dawson, Brianna Dawson, Ivan Guerra Jr., Antonio J. Guerra, Eva Dawson Corriell, David Dawson, Jennifer Dawson Krahnbuhl, Derek Dawson, Amanda Dawson, and Dakota Dawson.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

Offer condolences at

Visitation is at 10 a.m. at Heritage Funeral Home. Killeen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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