In 1949 the Lee Dawson family (Lee, Dotty and Skip) came to Nokomis to work with the well established Stiehl Funeral Home. The Dawson family came from Pawnee where they had managed two funeral homes.
Lee and Dotty were both US Navy veterans of WWII, and Lee had graduated from Chicago's Worsham College of Mortuary Science.
The Dawson family grew with the addition of three more sons (Marty, Rex and Rod). Lee and Dotty participated in many civic and church organizations, including Waples-Bauer American Legion Post 94, Charter member of the Nokomis Lions Club, First Methodist Church where Lee was treasurer and Dotty was a Sunday School teacher, and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.
On September 1, 1958, the family purchased the firm from Otto and Amanda Stiehl and added the Dawson name to the Stiehl Funeral Home and the Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home was born. Mike and Carole Lutz, along with daughter Reonna, came to work with the Dawson family in 1966. The Lutz family grew with the addition of a daughter, Wendy while associated with the firm. Mike went to work for CIPS Power Company in 1976.
The family continued in business upon the death of Lee in 1971. At the time of Lee's death, Marty Dawson was completing his final exams at Worsham College. Immediately he came back home and joined the family firm. During the years that the Dawson family has had the firm many great people from the community have been employed as support staff, helping with the success of the business.
In 1972, Marty Dawson married Debi Funk of Danville. For twenty plus years, Debi owned and operated Calico Corner Flowers and Gifts. Marty and Debi have a son, Andrew, (an Eagle Scout and college student) and a daughter Katie (a high school student). Presently the family is active in the United Methodist Church, St. Louis Catholic Church, church youth groups, Nokomis A.F. & A.M. #456, Nokomis Public Library,
Nokomis Fire Protection District, Boy Scout Troop #99 and Nokomis Lions Club, as well as support or involvement in most functions of the community. Nokomis and the surrounding communities have been very supportive of the family businesses and the Dawson family is grateful, they also appreciate all efforts to make Nokomis a cut above community.