Dianne Kay Dawson-Ryan

Date of Death

Dianne Kay Dawson-Ryan, age 73, formerly of St. Louis, MI, Port St. Joe, FL, and the Lansing, MI area, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 23, 2023, in Okemos, MI after a lengthy illness. She was a 17-year leukemia survivor and fiercely brave health warrior.

Dianne was known for her outgoing personality, keen intellect, quick wit and devotion to “humorous” puns. She was athletic, artistic and kind. She also loved cats, singing, painting and crafts of any kind, anywhere. In all ways, Dianne was a true “character with character.”

Born on November 29, 1950, in Alma, MI, Dianne was the second of four children born to Maurice Lowell Dawson and Virginia Beatrice (Baker) Dawson. She also was the very proud mother of her daughter, Shawna (Ryan) Bellamy.

Dianne spent her early years in St. Louis, MI before the Dawson family lived in Port St. Joe, FL (1959-1967). She graduated from St. Louis High School in 1969. Dianne also attended Albion College where she played field hockey and was a 1973 Phi Beta Kappa graduate. Although Dianne spent most of her life in and around mid-Michigan, she often fondly recalled memories of the eight wonderful years the Dawson family lived in Port St. Joe. She truly enjoyed reminiscing about the people she knew there and the beauty, freedom and nearby nature of living at the beach.

Other fond memories for Dianne included summers at Rock Lake with Shawna and the extended family; and all manner of special times and activities with longtime friends Debbie and Gloria, as well as her many friends at Marsh Pointe.

Dianne is survived by her daughter, Shawna (John) Bellamy of Woodbridge, Virginia; her brother, Dennis (Marilynn) Dawson of Brighton, MI; and sisters: LaDonna (Gordon) Johnson of Grand Ledge, MI and Deanna (Lyle) Essex of St. Louis, MI, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Dianne was preceded in death by her father, Maurice Dawson, her mother, Virginia Dawson, and her former husband, Robert Ryan.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on January 3, 2024, at Smith Family Funeral Homes in St. Louis, MI, with Dr. Keith Wise officiating. Visitation at the funeral home will be from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on January 2, 2024, and from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on January 3, 2024. Private burial will take place at a later date at North Star Cemetery, North Star, MI. Due to serious allergies, the family requests that NO FLOWERS be sent.

Memorials may be made to: Rock Lake Christian Assembly (7389 Vestaburg Rd., Vestaburg, MI 48891); Lansing Capital Area Salvation Amy (525 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912); or Capital Area Humane Society (7095 W. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906). Online condolences may be made at http://www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, St. Louis, Michigan.