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Neil Richard Dawkins
Neil Richard Dawkins gracefully moved on Thursday morning, May 16, 2019 at University Hospitals in Chardon, Ohio, at the age of 63, while battling a multitude of different illnesses. He was born June 22, 1955, in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, to his late father, Marvin, and beloved mother Gertrude Dawkins of Akron, Ohio, who instilled their influential religious beliefs for family and friends, hard work, and helping others.
Neil grew up and valued, his many personal and professional friendships, in the Akron area. From fishing, that he loved for both leisure and relief, football, playing stand-up bass, working in the garage, knowing good food, finding humor in everything, and doing good for others, including his many animals, were insurmountable. At an early age, Neil’s love and respect for classic rock and antique cars attributed to his culture and drove his motivation in life. He pursued his artistic passions and extraordinary talents in automotive restoration. His ability to share his intelligence and patience of applying the right touch, while caring for his tools, brought things back to life.
Neil was married for many years to Teresa, in Akron, and they raised their three children together. They shared many experiences and lasting memories. He later retired with his last love and wife, Dorri, and their children, in his dreamed country setting, in Orwell, Ohio, to enjoy the peace, love, and happiness he deserved.
There are so many other wonders about Neil, each of us knows in our own way, that we will cherish and keep alive in us forever. He strove to share all he could in life and never gave up. Truly, a remarkable man.
Also continuing in his life’s memory are his children, Richard, Rachael (David), Nicholas, Dakota, Kyle, and Michael (Theresa); grandchildren, Jordan, Oliver, Ryley, Veronica, Kahlan, Andrew, Zachary; siblings, Gregg (Mary Ann), Gail, Kirk; and many more loving family and friends.
Friends may call at Hope United Methodist Church, 2650 Cory Ave., Akron, OH 44314 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, with a funeral service beginning at 1:00 PM, Pastor John Tsironis officiating. Interment at 4 p.m. at Sager Memorial Cemetery on State Road 45 in Bristol Township. Farewell cards and letters for Neil are welcomed and will be laid to rest with him.
Such precious love you two have for each other. Like asking fun out of every thing you did or put together. God Bless you, ~ Jane
jane buehner Jun 3 2019 12:00 AM
This was the intended eulogy for Neil...I hope I kept as close to possible.
Hi, I am Dorri. If you do not know who I am, I am Neils wife. I didnt come into his life until the later part of it and there are so many of you that I have heard about but may have never met. In that, I want to tell you about some experiences that we had during our time together, so that if you did not spend that time with us, you will get to know more about how he spent the later part of his life.
After living in Kent together for a couple of years, we moved out into the country in Orwell. Finding the house for the first time was just amazing. It was like going into a saint ives painting...horse and buggy and all. We got a house that needed an unbelievable amount of work and Neil, me, and the boys spent the first month out there, every day, working to get it so it was liveable. Illness later put a stent in our plans for it...but we were just gracious to had gotten the house where we had.
Neil had talents for figuring just about anything out and was such a hard worker. Jack of any trade he wanted to take on. We didnt want to leave the house in between work on it ...so we would even sleep on cardboard on the floor so we would be ready for the next days work. It was amazing, what we pulled off in a month. It was also impossible to get any technology out there at the time too. So, we spent most of our time in the mornings looking out the window enjoying the miles of woods behind us and watching the birds..we never knew we would become such avid bird watchers, while we drank our deer park, folgers, black silk, coffee. Believe me, it is amazing how things can just look better after a good cup of coffee and some 60s classic rock music playing. He knew every song that came out of the radio, the lyrics, and some special story about each one. He had such a devotion to his music. It drove his strong beliefs for his culture and helped him tackle the day. The radio was almost never off, 24-7, it was always there moving him forward.
All the solace gave us an unbelievable amount of time to talk. We may have only had 12 years together, but I worked from home, college from home, so we got to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week together. We got to have this same experience every morning, plus what the rest of the day could bring. He helped me raise the boys with all his collective knowledge and he left such a big part of himself in each one of them.
Neil always knew how to put a smile on my face, support me in any new endeavor I had decided I was going to tackle, calm me down, and find the humor in almost everything in life. And he was so intelligent. While I was in college, we went over all the stuff I learned, together. He got to learn right along with me, gave his opinions, and grew with me with that. Then when I worked, he would actually be in the room and would hear all I would say to different clients and was just as involved as I was. When I did captioning of college lectures, we got to learn things about the world that we would have never willing done if it had not been for the work. From the depths of human evolution, algorithms, ancient astrological theory...the list goes on forever. His mind was always stimulating and just seemed to relish in the experience, which further encouraged me to move further.
We had both had our earlier struggles in life, and from those struggles learned what we needed in life and the type of people we truly were. We got to be our real selves with each other. He was such a good person. And not in the sense that there werent mistakes, but that those mistakes could be learned from, and none of them were so bad that it changed the actual integrity of him. We spent years watching old westerns with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and programs like Big Valley and Little House on the prairie. The deep old school morals were the ones the were deep in him. He believed in fighting for your rights, making change when others wouldnt or couldnt and following through until the end. He naturally wanted to save me and save so many others that were in his life.
It also further strengthened his thirst for history, understanding his genealogy, and the passage of time. Many people knew Neil as a hoarder. As a person that is not one, that would seem like an appropriate word. However, he was more an avid collector. Everything had a meaning, shape, importance, and place that he only wanted to educate people around him about. From visiting antique stores to just doing some metal detecting in the backyard, everything had an importance to him. He was fortunate that his dad, both encouraged the collecting, and was one too.
The accumulation of the the things he acquired further broadened his intelligence, and mine. And, the respect he gave it was unbelievable. Marvin and Trudy had to keep Neil busy. He was a doer and ornery. So, early in life, the work in the family garage was needed to keep him stimulated and gave him some unbelievable stories share. He required everything to be cleaned and be placed in its perfect spot. It was so auto restoration field he loved. He could name an antique car just from looking at its lights. And didnt know just its name, but all the processes it took to make it great again.
He may have retired early, but he continued to work in his sleep and always wanted to share his knowledge and teach you the patience it took to understand the steps and touch needed to make it better than it was than when he got it. His artistic and sculpting skills were truly unbelievable. He always strove to give his work 100% or more. He was a hard working man. It had made his hands so strong, that even when just holding hands, you had to remind him to ease up just a little. The fingers were just so tight together.
Then there is fishing...he talked alot about fishing down by the canal...ever since he was a kid and bringing fish home for his poor mom to have to cook. And, he was good at it. Believe me, he would have never let you starve. Which brings me to food. The man had so many rules he had to follow when it came to eating. In that, he relished the time he could have good old fashioned home cooking and apple pie. He made me feel wonderful that my food, plus multiple other things could bring him such joy. Not just that it had a good taste, what the food was made of, but how it made him feel, what he thought about and how it could bring out the wholesomeness of family. The environment further just promoted that.
Another huge part part of Neil was his animals. We had chuck and lacey with us, about 30 cats, even though he was allergic to them, and couple hundred birds, we had to take care of. All we had brought was the dogs, the rest came with the territory. He loved his animals so much. They got the same meal portions we got...special beds...treats...and they got to enjoy the sitting with us while we had that cup of coffee and just discussed the wonders of the world. Neil thought we had even made our animals smart. When Neil was in the hospital or just about to run somewhere, he always made sure all the animals were ok.
That is not saying that they werent hams. Chuck ran out the door one day chasing after a white goose that would walk down the road everyday to come down to the house to get corn. Neil went running after chuck, slipped in the snow, and the poor goose never came back. Later after things calmed, it was great how we could see all the humor in all that. Another time, he had forgot his cell phone and to put gas in the tank. Truck ran outta gas, and an Amish family riding in a buggy, picked him up and got him back to his truck with gas. It was the first time he had ever had a buggy ride. He said it was horrible, but loved that he got to do it and was grateful they helped him. And it was great cause it was just the kind of guy Neil was. If someone was stranded, he was there to save you. And not because there was some alternative motive, but because he was compelled and wanted to take away everyones pain.
With all the health issues that Neil survived through, he never gave up hope to get another day. He truly fought to hold onto his happiness, til the last beat of his heart and we thank God, his passing time was peaceful. There were so many people that helped him along the way and he knew he was loved in the beginning of his life, the end of it, and beyond. And, everyone one of us would do it again if he needed us.
In that, we all know that Neil would not want any of us in pain. But the part that he couldnt control, was how strongly we loved him for who he was and losing him...at any time in his life ...would leave an earning that could never go away. But the memories he shared with us is supposed to keep us holding on till we are with him again. He raised six kids. He truly saw potential, happiness, and bright futures in all of their lives. But, I think if he wanted us to remember anything, it would be that he truly loved us all, and that if there is anything that we couldnt let go of, to try to lay it to rest, because he wanted the happiness that we all gave him, to come back to all of us.
Dorri Dawkins Jun 2 2019 12:00 AM
A candle was lit in memory of Neil Dawkins
Kathleen Donaldson May 21 2019 12:00 AM
A SWEET AND WARM REMEMBRANCE TABLE ARRANGEMENT was ordered on May 20, 2019
Expression of Sympathy May 20 2019 12:00 AM
Niel was a great role model and friend to me since i met him over seven years ago when we met through his son Nick. There were many times where a short visit with him and his family would lead to a long and deep conversations. He had so many experiences to share and was always able to give advice if you asked for it. Niel was a good man and i believe my life was made better for knowing him.
Mathew Donaldson May 20 2019 12:00 AM
A candle was lit in memory of Neil Dawkins
Douglas Slates May 19 2019 12:00 AM
Neil was/is a wonderful and considerate man who was a fantastic husband and father to my daughter, Dorri and my grandsons, Dakota, Nicholas and Kyle. The moment they met I never had anything to worry about for Dorri and the boys. He treated everyone well and made you feel welcome in their home and at all times. He will be sorely missed. Bless you Neil for being you!
Davida Cain May 19 2019 12:00 AM
A candle was lit in memory of Neil Dawkins
Davida Slates May 18 2019 12:00 AM