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Mother of 3, cancer survivor named Mother of the Year

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Editor’s note: The Owen County Fair Board presented the Mother of the Year award before Sunday’s county-wide church service, while the Owenton Rotary Club presented the Owen Countian of the Year Award to Bob Cull. Please see next week’s edition of The News-Herald for a full story on Cull’s award.

BY AUDREY LEWIS
N-H Reporter

When Diana Dawson’s three daughters invited her to attend the county-wide church service Sunday evening at the Owen County Extension Office, there were no false pretenses or acts of persuasion.
The family had attended the event in the past, and Dawson simply thought her daughters were inviting her again this year.
But as Owen County Fair Board member Lindsey Tirey began reading the 2018 Mother of the Year nomination letter, Dawson quickly realized what her three daughters had done. As she stepped on stage and faced the crowd, she was then greeted by smiles from her entire family, lining the back row of the extension office.
While Diana has been many things to her community and family — wife, postmaster, church pianist and avid Christian — above all, she is a mother and grandmother. Dawson and her husband of 44 years, Raymond, raised three daughters, Tricia Crawford, Devon Baker and Aron Bourne.
Now Dawson is a grandmother of six, Chelsea Crawford, Justin Crawford, Drew Crawford, Kaylee Baker, Ellie Baker and Allison Bourne.
Although her family has expanded, the Dawson’s have not ventured too far from home. Tricia currently lives in Henry County, Devon resides in Franklin County, and Aaron remains in Owen County.  
While times have been trying, family is one thing that has never wavered for the Dawson’s. In 2001, Devon was involved in a dangerous car accident leaving her in the hospital for months and rehabilitation for weeks.
“The whole family took turns staying with her, providing care, love and support,” Diana recalled.
“Her support, encouragement, and comfort helped me to recover. She rarely left my side through the many weeks of recovery and continued to push me once I started rehab,” Devon said of her mother.
On Feb. 28, 2017, Diana was diagnosed with a rare form of Lymphoma in her stomach, one that only one in 100,000 people get, as well as endometrial cancer of the uterus. During her acceptance speech Diana explained that she had no option but to beat her cancer because she had a husband, children, and grandchildren who still needed her. Diana will be cancer free for a year in September.  
In the nomination letter, Devon wrote, “Family time was and continues to be a top priority and the memories we have of our special traditions such as ‘Mammy Jammy’ and yearly trips that continue to this day are priceless.” Devon later explained that “Mammy Jammy” is a Christmas movie party that Diana hosts every year for her kids and grandkids.
“We wear our pajamas, play games, watch the movie, and dad dresses up as something or someone from the movie,” Devon shared.
In her free time, Diana enjoys being with her grandchildren, reading, crochet and playing the piano.  
In all her years of being a mother, Diana said her proudest moment was Sunday night, knowing that her daughters had nominated her for the award.
“My daughters are my life, and I am humbled by the blessing of being able to see them grow into the strong, independent and loving mothers that they are,” Diana said. “They are my legacy.”