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| July 18, 2019 1:00 AM

Jack Leslie Dawson, Ph.D., 77

Dr. Jack Dawson, 77, of Coeur d’Alene, passed away July 16, 2019, at the Schneidmiller Hospice House, from complications from a long battle with Parkinson’s. He was born on Feb. 14, 1942, in Fort Collins, Colo., to Jack and Kathryn Dawson.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, and three siblings: Gary (Noreen) Dawson of Mesa, Colo., Debbie (Allen) Shandera of Spokane, Stanley (Paula) Gilland of Cape Coral, Fla. and their families. He is preceded in death by his grandmother, Jeanie Dawson; parents, Jack and Kathryn Dawson; and brother, Charles.

After graduating with a BS in education from Colorado State University in 1964, Jack started his career in education at Montezuma Creek Elementary School, located on the Navajo Reservation in Utah. He met a fellow elementary teacher, Barbara Jean Rodden, and in 1967 they were married. That same year, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received his Master of Science degree at the University of Northern Colorado.

A decorated Navy Officer, Lieutenant Dawson served his first tour of duty in Vietnam, where he supported the Navy Seals. During his second tour of duty, Dawson returned to the Philippines where he was in command of patrol torpedo boats.

In 1971, Jack and Barbara moved to Coeur d’Alene, where Jack taught at Dalton Elementary and served as principal for 5 years. Jack’s academic drive led him to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Idaho in 1982. He became the director of the U of I Coeur d’Alene Center in 1982, and not long after that, became the dean until his retirement in 2008.

Jack’s dedication to K-12 and higher education can be seen by the opportunities he championed for all students, teachers and administrators through his leadership at the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene. After he was hired, the U of I Coeur d’Alene grew from an office in the Coeur d’Alene School District, to the U of I Coeur d’Alene Harbor Center, located along the Spokane River.

Dr. Dawson was loved by staff and community and received Kootenai County’s ‘Boss of the Year Award’ during his time at U of I Coeur d’Alene. He served on countless community and church advisory boards and committees. Jack had been a long-time Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club member where he served as the Club’s President from 2003-2004.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church, 521 Lakeside Ave., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Memorial donations can be made in honor of Jack to the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club Foundation, P.O. Box 444, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816 ( or EXCEL Foundation, P.O. Box 2469, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816 ( or the First Presbyterian Church, 521 Lakeside Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 (

Yates Funeral Home is entrusted with final arrangements. Please visit Jack’s online memorial and sign his guest book at