Alma Dawkins Dawson departed this life on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at home with her family after a brief battle with cancer.
Alma was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on May 11, 1946 to the late Fred and Marie Omazell (McClain) Dawkins. At the age of 12, Alma accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was baptized at Cross Roads Baptist Church (now Mt. Pleasant) in Inman. She was educated in Spartanburg County public schools and was most proud of being a graduate of Mary McLeod Bethune High School in Inman. She was very active in school clubs and well known for being the drum majorette in the band, a member of the glee club, and class vice-president. After graduating, Alma’s desire to move North was realized, first moving to New York and then to Detroit, where she would reside for over 40 years.
While in Detroit, Alma joined Morning View Missionary Baptist Church where she faithfully served in various capacities for many years. It was in Detroit that Alma meet her husband, Audury “Bill” Dawson and devoted her life to him and to being a phenomenal mother to 2 children, Reginald (deceased) and Tracey. She was active in their schools, served with the PTA, and volunteered for all bake sales, car washes, field trips, and marching band events. Alma was a generous woman with a love for children and community. As she matured, she reached back to help other young mothers by sharing resources or nuggets of wisdom.
Alma was a strong woman of God who believed in social justice, fairness, and the humanity of all people. She spent several years employed as a Tenant Organizer for the Detroit Housing Coalition, educating tenants about their housing rights and their right to be treated with dignity regardless of their race or economic status. This work could be intimidating, but Alma was not easily deterred. Alma would eventually seek computer/technical training and graduate from the Michigan Computer Institute. She used her computer skills at various companies, but would ultimately settle at Sinai Hospital DMC as an Emergency/Crisis Registration Representative, retiring after the death of her husband in 2008.
In 2009, Alma moved to Fredericksburg, VA, to be with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. She joined First Mount Zion Baptist Church, where she supported various ministry activities. Alma loved being with her family; spoiling her grandkids; attending their sporting events; and cooking Sunday dinner. She also enjoyed reading and gardening.
Alma was preceded in death by her husband, Audury; her son, Reginald; her parents, Fred and Marie Dawkins; and two siblings (Andrew and Freddie Mae Dawkins). She leaves to cherish her memory, one daughter, Rev. Dr. Tracey Holley (Rev. Shelby); two grandchildren, Zevin and Zamari; two sisters, Margaret Dawkins and Vanita Dawkins-Moss; three brothers, Fred Dawkins, Jr.; Terrence Dawkins (Barbara) and Frank Dawkins; two sisters-in-law, Evelyn Dawson, and Gwen Dawson-Witherspoon; one brother-in-law, Robert Moss; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and life-long friends.
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