DAWSON, Michael L., Colonel, 51 of Brandon, passed away suddenly at his home on January 13, 2013. Colonel Dawson returned to Florida in June 2011 to serve at MacDill Air Force Base as Deputy Commander, Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE). He served his country with honor, pride and dignity and received numerous major awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star in 2008 for his role in the war in Afghanistan. Michael attended Brandon High School where he excelled in academics and sports and starred as quarterback for the football team. He later enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program at Grambling State University where he earned his degree as a Cum Laude graduate. Before his untimely death, he was informed that he would be promoted to the rank of Colonel and his pinning ceremony would be held on February 1, 2013. Michael is the son of the late Sim Gibson, Jr. Left to mourn his death but celebrate his life is his loving family: Lydia, his very devoted wife of 17 years; Breanna Mikayla, his 12 year old daughter who held her father in the highest esteem; his beloved mother Anna Gibson; his loving sister Felicia Gibson Jaycox, and his loyal brothers Maurice and Marlon Gibson. He is also survived by: his uncles, Charles Martin, Ernest Martin, Joseph Chester and Paul Gant; his aunts Sylvia Betts, Linda Gant, Elizabeth Martin, Mattie Martin and Elnora Barnes; his great-uncle Emerson Addison Jr. and his wife, Johnnie K.; his brother-in-laws, Thomas Jaycox, Cris Sagcal and Arnel Sagcal; his God brother and best friend since childhood, Steve Osborne; his God brother Daniel Davis; forever friend, Robert Seraphin; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Colonel Dawson was the consummate professional, a leader among leaders, a caring person who helped others attain their goals and aspirations, a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and a highly devoted family man. Words cannot express how much Michael was loved and how deeply he will be missed. Funeral Services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, January 18, 2013 at Base Chapel, 2204 Administration Avenue, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 17, 2013