Dawn Dorothy Doring Melcher
August 21, 1943 â July 28, 2020
Born into a farm family in Mankato, Minnesota on August 21, 1943, Dawn was never bored. She worked on the farm, helped raise her three younger brothers, loved school, and was involved in 4H and church activities.
Education was important to Dawn. She attended Mankato State, where she met Ronald Melcher. Dawn finished her teaching degree in three years, graduating on her 21st birthday. Later, she went on to get her Masters in Library Science from St. Cloud State while teaching first grade.
In 1965, Dawn married Ron and later moved to Hugo, Minnesota. Even though she left the farm, Dawn continued growing and canning food for her family and made sure her daughters were involved in every step.
She had three girls, Robin, Erin, and Renee, that kept her busy. Dawn sewed their clothes, led Girl Scouts and 4H, volunteered at church, and chauffeured them to their many activities. While working part-time at the apple orchard, she perfected her familyâs favorite pie. When her youngest was in junior high, she returned to the workforce full-time in retail and substitute teaching.
Through work, Dawn earned a trip to France which sparked her love of travel. She and Ron took many trips both by plane and camper. Later, with her oldest daughter, Dawn returned to Europe four more times, touring and researching her roots.
For over twenty years, Dawnâs favorite activity was âCraft Weekendsâ with her girls. While Ron often thought more laughing than crafting was done, that was how Dawn liked it. Her daughters were not only her best friends, but her pride and joy. She also loved her sons-in-law, who quickly became the sons she never had.
Dawn adored her five grandchildren and continued her teaching tradition with them. She taught them to bake, garden, scrapbook, and quilt. She became young again by taking her grandkids to all the things she wanted to do growing up. Dawn took rides in bumper cars, Sky Rides, and taxis to the big city. She hunted for âbears,â bugs, and birds. She even made sure to find a building with a revolving door because a granddaughter wanted to use one. Using every opportunity to be with her grandchildren, Dawn took various trips to zoos, museums, parks, malls, and fairs.
While making her first quilt for her first grandchild, Dawn found a new passion. She sewed multiple quilts for her daughters, her sons-in-law, and grandchildren. Dawn has also made several Quilts of Valor, a charity close to her heart, that sews quilts for veterans.
She was generous with her time and believed in helping others. After hearing about Operation Christmas Child, she began purchasing items and creating unique shoeboxes for children in need. She often added pieces that she sewed just for them, such as doll clothes and blankets.
Dawn enjoyed any activity that kept her brain sharp, including Sudoku, tracing her family genealogy back to the 1500s, puzzles, designing quilts, scrapbooking, and reading. Even at the end, Dawn told her daughter, âBored? I never get bored, I have too much I want to do.â
Surrounded by her girls, Dawn died on July 28, 2020, due to complications from lung cancer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Quilts of Valor or Operation Christmas Child.