Rawson, Donald Roger
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passed away peacefully at his home in Sun City, AZ, on September 18, 2013. He was 85. Born to loving parents Eva and Stephen Rawson, he grew up in the small mill town of Harrisville, RI, during the Depression and World War II. In his senior year of high school, Don was honored as the top scholar-athlete in the state. He attended Brown University where he played football, hockey and baseball. He served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948 and again from 1950 to 1951. He graduated in 1950 and embarked on a career in education. After teaching and coaching at Suffield Academy in Connecticut and Buckley Country Day School on Long Island, Don became Head of Stanley Clark School in South Bend, IN in 1968. During his 20 years in this position, Stanley Clark achieved national recognition as a Distinguished School and Don served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States. Don had four sons with his first wife, Mary Louise Gammons: Donald Jr., Richard, William and Charles. In 1966, Don married Shirley Leidersdorf, mother of son Craig. The combined family lived in Port Washington, Long Island, for two years before moving to South Bend, where Don and Shirley lived until moving to Sun City West in 1996. Don and Shirley were married 46 years. Together they enjoyed golf, tennis, skiing and bridge, as well as travel for pleasure and to visit children, grandchildren, and in their last years, great grandchildren. Don and Shirley spent their final years at Royal Oaks Retirement Community in Sun City. Shirley died in 2012. Don is survived by a proud and loving extended family, including stepson Craig Leidersdorf and wife Donna of Westlake Village, CA; son Donald Jr. and wife Janet of Westfield, IN; son Richard and wife Kimberly of Issaquah, WA; son William and wife Mary of Bethesda, MD; son Charles of Cottonwood, AZ; son David Miller and wife Jill of Toronto, Canada; granddaughter Carole Anne Davis and husband Jim of Northborough, MA; grandson William and wife Uta of Washington, D.C.; grandsons Christopher and Brett of New York City, NY; granddaughter Elizabeth of New Haven, CT; granddaughter Catherine of Campton, NH; grandson Matthew of Exeter, NH; grandson Kyle of Westfield, IN; granndson Eric Leidersdorf of Santa Barbara, CA, granddaughter Margaret of Palo Alto, CA; grandson Simon and granddaughter Julia Miller of Toronto, Canada; great grandson Caden and great granddaughter Callie of Northborough, MA; and great granddaughter Lorelei and great grandson Rory of Washington, D.C. Don was an active member of the Congregational Church of Sun City and his life will be celebrated in a memorial service to be held at the church at 12:00 noon on October 19, 2013. Those who wish to honor his memory are asked to contribute to the Mayo Clinic Foundation of Rochester, MN (www.mayoclinic.org/development), the Congregational Church of Sun City, AZ (www.congregationalchurchofsuncityaz.com), the Stanley Clark School of South Bend, IN (www.stanleyclark.org), or a
. You may also leave a message for the family at www.bestfuneralservices.com
Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 29, 2013