Cover photo for Caroline Pryor Marion Dawson's Obituary
Caroline Pryor Marion Dawson Profile Photo
1921 Caroline 2023

Caroline Pryor Marion Dawson

March 3, 1921 — May 15, 2023



CLEMSON, S.C. -- Caroline Pryor Marion Dawson, a longtime resident of Chester, S.C., died May 15, 2023 in Clemson, S.C., at the age of 102.

            Mrs. Dawson was born March 3, 1921, in Chester, to the late Malcolm Lafayette Marion, Sr. and Annie May Pryor Marion.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Hood Dawson, Sr., and brother, Malcolm Lafayette Marion, Jr., MD.

            She was a graduate of the City of Chester schools and Winthrop College, where she earned a teaching degree in 1942. During World War II, she taught English in the Orangeburg, S.C., public schools and then helped the war effort with the American Red Cross as a hospital recreation worker for wounded soldiers at Camp Butner, N.C.

            In 1944, she married Lt. Col. Dawson in Chester, and the couple moved to Camp Davis, N.C. and later Fort Bliss, Texas. After the war, they returned to Chester, where she was a homemaker and active community member, as well as working in the family toy and hardware distribution business.

Mrs. Dawson served on the Chester City School Board and served as President of the Palmetto Literary Club, the Violet Sunshine Club, the Chester County Historical Society and the Chester Assembly.  She worked with the Historic Preservation in Chester to help designate areas of the City and County to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  She was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of South Carolina and was a former member of the Mary Adair Chapter DAR, the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, the Caroliniana Society, and Old Purity Society.  She was an active member of Purity Presbyterian Church in Chester, where she served as Elder, Deacon, Sunday school teacher and President of the Presbyterian Women.

After her children were in school, Mrs. Dawson began to work full-time for G.R. Dawson & Son and served as the company’s primary buyer for almost 20 years.

In 2007, Mrs. Dawson moved to the Clemson Downs retirement community, where she enjoyed many new friends and was an active member of the Fort Hill Presbyterian Church in Clemson.

Affectionally called “Goggy” by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Dawson was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She was admired for her gracious manner, sharp mind, optimistic nature and kindness to everyone she met. Mrs. Dawson loved to laugh, and she could find humor in almost any situation.  She adored reading and was a gifted storyteller who shared amusing tales based on her life.  Mrs. Dawson cared deeply about her family and always made time to listen, provide guidance, and remind everyone to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and lipstick.

She is survived by her children, Ann Dawson Castle and husband Gary of Salem, SC; Edward Hood Dawson, Jr. and wife Cindy of Greenville, SC; Robert Lambdin Dawson, Sr. and wife Emmie of Seabrook Island, SC; six grandchildren, Caroline Castle Laney (Whit); Kathryn Castle (Ryan Mulligan); Robert L. Dawson, Jr., Pryor Dawson Rayburn (Trey); May Dawson Reid (Hunter); and Edward Hood Dawson, III (Anna); eight great grandchildren; Dawson Laney, Hobbs and Eliza Mulligan; Emmie and Charlie Rayburn; Bruce and Leila Reid, and Caroline Marsh.  She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. 

            Celebration of Life services will be held at Purity Presbyterian Church in Chester on Saturday, May 27 at 2 p.m. A private family interment will be held at Evergreen Cemetery, Chester, South Carolina. 

            The family would like to sincerely thank the kind caregivers who have loved and cared for Mrs. Dawson:  JoAnn Sallade, Destinee Weston, Misha Bennett, and the entire Assisted Living and Healthcare staff at Clemson Downs. 

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Purity Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 278, Chester, SC, 29706; Fort Hill Presbyterian Church, 101 Edgewood Avenue, Clemson, SC, 29631 or to Clemson Downs Volunteers, 150 Downs Loop, Clemson, SC, 29631.

Please visit for online condolences.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life for Caroline Dawson

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Purity Presbyterian Church

135 Wylie St, Chester, SC 29706

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