Friends remember Dawes | SteamboatToday.com

Friends remember Dawes

'Poogie' recalled as exemplary philanthropist with contagious smile

Alexis DeLaCruz

If you knew Margaret “Poogie” Dawes, you knew one of Steamboat’s most committed and passionate volunteers and philanthropists.

If your children played hockey, you knew Poogie. If you were planning an event, chances are you solicited Poogie to help.

Bob Milne, a longtime friend, former colleague and neighbor, said Dawes was the kind of person who could juggle a million things — never dropping a ball — to make sure they all got done.

“She was one of those people that everyone wanted to get involved. They knew that she would get it done. They knew she could pull it off,” Milne said Tuesday.

Dawes, 55, was found dead at her Steamboat Springs home Friday. The death is under investigation, and police have said they don’t suspect foul play. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg expects to know more about the death today or Thursday.

Dawes, who moved to Steam–boat in 1974 after graduating from the University of Arizona and Marymount University, was given the nickname “Poogie” — a character in a children’s book –y one of her sisters.

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She met and married Steve Dawes in Steamboat. The couple have two teenage sons.

Milne said Dawes’ passion for life and commitment to her sons, husband and the community was “amazing to watch.”

Throughout the years, the Daweses have been involved with the Steamboat Springs School District, Yampa Vall–ey Medical Center and the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association.

Despite her various roles as donor, fundraiser and volunteer, Dawes’ most precious role was being a mother to her sons and a wife to her husband, Milne said.

“She really tried to make sure she always had time for Jeff and Matt and Steve. They were her ultimate priority, and everyone knew that,” he said.

“She was really passionate about her kids. She was always helping out at school. She was one of those people who kept the kids on the right track.”

Milne said the Daweses’ home was a welcoming place where her sons’ friends often stopped to spend time with the family.

“She kept an eye on them. She kept them involved,” he said.

Her friend Sandy Lettunich, whose children play hockey with the Daweses’ children, said Poogie always was full of energy.

“I got the impression from her that she was exactly where she was, doing exactly what she wanted, every single day,” Lettunich said.

“She loved being a mother. Her boys were so special to her. She was involved in so many lives, but those were the most dear to her.”

One of the many causes for which Dawes worked effortlessly was Yampa Valley Medical Center. Hospital spokeswoman Christine McKelvie met Dawes while she was a member of the Routt Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, a board that raised money for building YVMC, a chapel and an aviary.

“Lots of people volunteer in our community, but she always seemed to give a little extra. It was more than just writing a check for her. She threw herself into her causes,” McKelvie said.

“When she made a commitment to do something, it was as good as done.”

Beyond Dawes’ affinity to help, she was the kind of person few people get a chance to know, McKelvie said.

“She had a very distinctive personality. You can’t describe many people as vivacious, but that word fits Poogie very well,” she said. “Life seemed better after knowing her. She made it brighter, better and happier.”

That’s exactly how most people will remember her, Milne said.

“When I close my eyes and think of Poogie, I’ll always think of a big smile, lots of energy and a can-do attitude,” he said.

Dawes is survived by her husband, Steve; two sons, Jeff and Matt; her mother, Peggy Winters Everett; and three sisters, Anne Maguire, Lulu Hallenbeck and E.E. White.

A funeral for Margaret “Poogie” Dawes is at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, 2300 Mount Werner Circle. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Yampa Valley Funeral Home, 2095 Curve Court.

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