Dawn Walker, lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away on Monday, July 8, 2013. Dawn was born in Durango, Colo., on Jan. 9, 1957, to Franklin and Leah Walker. The Walkers moved around a lot when Dawn was young, but Pagosa was always home. When Dawn was in elementary school, they moved to Pagosa permanently. She graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1975.
Dawn went on to do many things in her life. In the ’80s, she became a consultant for Mary Kay. She enjoyed the traveling this involved. She also enjoyed meeting new people through Mary Kay, both colleagues and clients.
Dawn was also an avid hunter. She began hunting as a way to save money on groceries, then she found that it was an activity she loved. She had so many stories of her hunting follies and triumphs. Once she learned archery, that quickly became her favorite. She once even did a “Robin Hood” at the Archery Club in Pagosa. She split another arrow straight down the middle. While Dawn worked for Judd Cooney, as a secretary, she relished the chance to rub elbows with celebrities of the hunting world.
Dawn became a Realtor in her early 40s. She was always looking for a chance to better herself and her circumstances. She knew struggle was part of success and didn’t mind the hard work. If Dawn got discouraged, she never let anyone know. She just kept plugging on.
Dawn’s pride and joy was her family. Her daughter, Joni Lattin, and her son, Lando Garcia, both made her very proud. She liked to tell others that both of her children took jobs that helped others; Joni as a teacher and Lando as a law enforcement officer. Her grandchildren, Dorian, Janiah and Aleah, were Dawn’s greatest happiness. She loved spending time with them, having “sleepovers,” riding the Durango train, going to the movies and sharing her love of books and the outdoors.
In 1992, Dawn married Michael Bates, a person she always considered to be her best friend. Circumstances dictated that they live apart, however, Dawn and Michael spoke daily until the day she passed.
Dawn had many friends over the years, but two who were very special to her were Mindi Dodd and Victoria Appenzeller. The three of them always seemed to be surrounded by laughter and so much love, it was like an extended family.
Dawn battled cancer twice in the last 20 years of her life. She fought both battles bravely and with everything she had. Dawn never did anything halfway.
Dawn was preceded in death by her mother, Leah Walker, her father, Franklin Walker, her sister, Judy Blair, and her brother, Delbert Volmer. Dawn is survived by her children, her grandchildren, Michael Bates of Oklahoma, her brothers Stan Walker of Pagosa Springs, John Volmer of Wyoming, Lewis Volmer of Oregon, one sister Kathy Miles of Estes Park, and many, many friends from around the world.
A memorial service for Dawn is being held Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m. at the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. As purple was Dawn’s favorite color, we would like everyone to wear something purple in her honor.