John Dawley


John K. Jr.,

John K. Dawley Jr., 59, a lifelong resident of Sylvania ended his battle with cancer March 5, 2013, and passed away peacefully at home with the love and warmth of his closest family and friends. John loved racing, golf,

fishing, and hunting. He was also a better than average Karaoke participant. His sweet version of Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind" would have made old Frank proud! His hunting and fishing prowess was shared by his son primarily and a variety of hunting comrades over the years. He was in high anticipation to get the grandsons out with a gun and a pole. John and Susan also enjoyed adventurous and rural style vacationing with their brother and sister in law, Barb, Kevin Koelsch and family. Alaska, Mexico and the great Wild West were among their favorite excursions. John started his firefighting career at age 18 in Sylvania, Ohio. He was part of the first full time crew in Sylvania. He later moved to the Ottawa Hills Fire Department, where he retired as assistant Fire Chief in 1996. John was a passionate and focused individual. He was meticulous in everything he did and loved drag racing. Since 1971, John was a 14 time National Record holder as driver/owner in the Superstock Eliminator- NHRA class and until 2 years ago, he was still competitively racing in the Competition Eliminator class in c/Dragster. His shop, Dawley Performance has the walls covered with stickers, news clippings, photo memorabilia and his racing trophy's (Wally's) from his 40 plus year career. Up until the end, people came from miles around for his automotive expertise. John indeed made an impact on the industry and was renowned through the racing circuit for his innovation and competitive participation. He was great because he started young, learned from the best and extended that talent to become a top engine building trainer for Dana's Technical Training Center while it was active in its hay day.

He was preceded in death by father, John Dawley Sr. and grandparents, Cigars and Granny Terry. John leaves behind his beloved wife, Susan; children, Sarah (Eric Diaz), John (Noelle) Dawley; grandchildren, Owen, Alex Dawley; mother, Rosemary; brothers, Brian (Jan), Terry (Lynn) Dawley; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the Dowling Funeral Home, 7509 New West Road at King Road, (King Rd between Central and Sylvania Ave.) Toledo, 419-841-8111. After funeral services, John's family invites you to a celebration of his life from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Ward Pavilion, Wildwood Metropark. Special thanks go out to good friends, Greg Bettinger, Jim Valerius, Dave Gorman and the staff at Hospice of Northwest Ohio. Memorial contributions may be to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or St. Jude Children's Hospital. For additional information or condolences, please visit;

Published in Toledo Blade from Mar. 7 to Mar. 8, 2013