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Drew Kingsland Dawson March 3, 1949 – June 21, 2024

The family of Drew Kingsland Dawson, 75, of Friday Harbor, Washington, and beloved husband of Kathryn Susan Cope, with heavy heart, sadly announces that Drew passed away at home after a long illness on Friday, June 21, 2024. Drew was born in Hartford, CT, son of the late Graeme Colby Dawson and Jean Elizabeth (Ebbets) Dawson.

Drew graduated from the Kingswood school in West Hartford, CT with a year abroad in Bath, England. He then graduated from Antioch College in Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a focus on art education. Drew enjoyed and was successful at diversified and multiple careers.

While at Antioch he worked as a lapidary artist, ceramicist and screen printer.  Drew also became an accomplished carpenter and certified welder.  Drew and his sister Dale became business partners in many ventures and moved to the Berkshires for their most ambitious project: converting an old farm on 600 acres into a ski area with a gourmet restaurant and lodging. Subsequently, the family and friend run business, Cummington Farm, became nationally known as the destination Nordic ski area in New England.  Later, Drew also served as President of the National Ski Touring Operators Association and was a key figure in promoting and developing the sport across the country.  In addition to the ski touring resort, Drew also developed and managed special events at the Farm including car shows, hot air balloon festivals, fiddler contests and bluegrass festivals, concerts, weddings, and a premier restaurant which people came to from miles around.  The press dubbed Cummington “the Idea Farm”.

Drew then became the Project Manager at a large condominium development in Farmington, CT.

When Drew relocated to La Jolla, California, he initially became a licensed sailing instructor, home inspector, and later developed and ran a classic car business, which was always his passion.  He met Kristine Nowell there and later married in La Jolla on March 28, 1991, on a splendid yacht cruise followed by a honeymoon in Tahiti. In their desire to raise a family they moved to Friday Harbor, WA. and welcomed two children into the world – Tyler Craig Dawson, and Sierra Dale Dawson.  Drew committed his life to being the best father for his children by creating a place for them to be creative, authentic and curious – as well as fine human beings.  In Friday Harbor Drew, always the entrepreneur, first created his own retail shop for native goods.  Eventually he returned to his classic car passion and became the business owner of AR Restoration for restoring classic cars. He could often be seen driving through town in whichever project he had at the time.

On August 3, 2006, Drew married Kathy Cope. They met in Friday Harbor and were married in a very festive 2-day wedding on Orcas Island. Drew welcomed Kathy’s daughter Melanie, as his own. Together they raised a blended family with love and values at the forefront of their parenting.

Drew was known to all he met as a gentle man, who led with kindness, patience and generosity. His homemade chocolate chip cookies and pies were a hit around town, and his ability to support family and friends will linger long after he is gone. His friends describe him as courageous, full of grace, steady, devoted, and inspiring.

After courageously overcoming a multitude of health issues, he passed away in his home with his wife by his side and over the months he was helped tremendously by family members and friends.  In his last year, he was never far from his copy of Gratitude by Oliver Sacks, which read “I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.  I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return.” 

Words cannot describe how much Drew will be missed and what a wonderful person he was to all who knew and loved him.

Drew is survived by his wife, Kathryn Susan Cope and three children, Tyler Craig Dawson, Sierra Dale Dawson, and Melanie Kaitlyn Cope, and also his sister Dale Ann Dawson and her husband Joseph Petrolito of Connecticut, and close cousins, Karen Lee Fraser and Reid Warner Fraser of Connecticut who grew up with Drew. Drew also had numerous close friends around the country.

If you would like to make a donation to Drew’s memorial fund:

You can search ‘Celebrating Drew Dawson: A Memorial Fund’ on GoFundMe,

Visit the Savi Bank in Friday Harbor, or

Send a check to: Kathy Cope, POB 191, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

A celebration of life will occur at the Presbyterian Church in Friday Harbor on July 20, 2024, at 1pm. All are welcome.