Clair Edward Dawkins
Clair Edward Dawkins, of Fredericton, New Brunswick passed away on June 1, 2021 at the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital. He was 90 years of age. Known to many as "Dawk", he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimers in 2016.
Dad was born in Fredericton on March 7, 1931. He was educated well at Charlotte Street School, Fredericton High School (1948) and the University of New Brunswick. He graduated in 1954 with a degree in Civil Engineering which prepared him for his lifetime career in the telecommunications industry.
After graduation the family left Fredericton and spent the next 11 years moving frequently as dad pursued various opportunities with Bell Telephone. Tired of the nomadic life and wanting to be close to his aging parents he moved the family back to Fredericton. He worked as an engineer for NBTel until his retirement in 1984.
Dad had many interests and hobbies. He was a good ball player, and was an avid participant with the NBtel softball team, both on and off the field, for many years. He followed professional baseball and hockey closely, cheering always for the Yankees and the Canadiens.
He loved old heritage houses and restoring them. He and mum bought their first one on Saint John Street in 1969, lovingly restored it, and then purchased three other "projects" and gave them new life. Dad's prowess with a paint brush coupled with mom's great eye for decorating, resulted in beautiful homes.
Over the years Dad also collected vintage cars- his prize one, a 1957 Corvette; race horses, which meant he was often seen at the raceway, and antique furniture. He and mum were regulars at Russell Bond and Tim Isaac auctions, and their homes were full of auction treasures.
Clair is survived by his wife, Rae Dawkins (Lakes), four children, Donna (Sam) of Fredericton, Dan (Helen) of Ballarat, Australia, Jennifer (Richard) Toronto, and Lorraine (Brian) also in Toronto. He also leaves five grandchildren; Sarah and Simon Pacey, Dylan and Claire Floody and Shannon Dawkins and two great grandchildren; Desmond and Marigold Pacey. Each one of these kids was taught how to catch a ball and handle a hockey stick by Grampy.
Clair is also survived by two sisters, Catherine Giles( Fredericton) and Gloria Dawkins (Brockway). He was predeceased by his father, Herbert and his mother, Edna (Clewley), an infant brother, Melvin and sister, Phyllis Hopper. Catherine and Gloria offered care and support to Clair until the end and his niece Caroline Giles McLaughlin lavished him with attention, setting up FaceTime sessions with his family around the world and organizing his 90th birthday party at Brunswick Hall, Shannex.
Dad was a geography whiz. He knew the capital city of any country we named. He loved to travel to new and interesting places, and enjoyed getting the whole family together despite geographical distances. Many happy reunions and weddings were held at Rexton, Grand Lake, Lake Kasshabog, Toronto, New York City, Cape Cod, Florida, South Carolina and Australia.
There will be a Celebration of Clair's life at a later time and he has asked that his ashes be spread in some of his favourite places, including around second base at the ball diamond at Queen Square.
Despite his dementia and his frailty Dad was gentle and pleasant till the very end. The last words he spoke were to a Doctor who while checking on him, pulled the blankets over his small body. With his eyes closed he whispered, "thank you," to her.
No, Dad, it's all of your loving family and friends, who thank you.