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Dr. Donald M. Rawson

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Dr.  Donald M. Rawson Obituary
Dr. Donald M. Rawson

Funeral services for Dr. Donald M. Rawson will be held at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, October 16, 2014, in the Chapel of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home Alexandria with Dr. Chris Thacker and Dr. Lee Weems officiating. Burial will be on Friday, October 17, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Parkway Cemetery in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Dr. Rawson, 89, passed away at his home in Alexandria on Friday, October 10, 2014.

Dr. Rawson was born in Dossville, Mississippi on August 22, 1925. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in Europe and the Pacific from 1943-1946. Dr. Rawson married Vera McKay on January 24, 1951.

Dr. Rawson received his bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi and his Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. After teaching at several junior colleges in Mississippi, Dr. Rawson and his family moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana in 1960 where he served on the faculty at Northwestern State University for more than 24 years. Dr. Rawson taught in the History Department at Northwestern and served for 8 years as chairman of that Department. In 1980 Dr. Rawson was promoted to Dean of the Graduate School, a position in which he served until his retirement from Northwestern in July 1984.

Dr. Rawson, a noted authority on middle-period American history, authored numerous articles for scholarly and professional journals. He was a member of the Southern Historical Association, the Mississippi Historical Association, and the Southern Studies Institute, and he served on the Board of Directors and as President of both the Louisiana Historical Association and the North Louisiana Historical Association.

Dr. Rawson was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Vera McKay Rawson; his parents, Richard Willis Rawson and Bessie Mae Sanders Rawson; a brother, Haywood Rawson; and two sisters, Waudean Rawson and Mavis Rawson Waggoner.

Survivors include his daughters, Glynda Rawson Mehl and husband Julian, and Patti Rawson Hargis and husband Randall; his twin brother, Denver Rawson, and brother, James Rawson; his sisters, Katherine Rawson O'Briant and Betty Rawson Stokes; 5 grandchildren, Jessica Hargis Hebert and husband James, Judson Lee Mehl, Brett Hargis and wife Stephanie, Penny Hargis Tullos and husband Jesse, and Leslie Ann Mehl; and 7 great-grandchildren, Ethan, Anne Claire, Grant, Bailey, Casey, Laci and Reese.

Memorials may be made to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, to First Presbyterian Church in Natchitoches, or to any .

To extend online condolences to the Rawson family, please visit us at


Published in The Town Talk on Oct. 15, 2014
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