Dawn W. Sebesta
Dawn W. Sebesta 1947 ~ 2003  Dr. Dawn Deanne Wilson Sebesta died on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2003 in a light plane crash in the Cedar Mountains of Utah. She was born May 23, 1947, in Lincoln, Neb. She had an international childhood, moving both within the U.S. and to Turkey and Argentina; she graduated from high school in Tripoli, Libya. She earned a B.S. from the University of Iowa in 1969, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Royal Holloway College of the University of London in 1987. For her doctoral work, she was the first non-British student to receive the Edward John Bourne Award; she remains a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Throughout her life, she was a fierce believer in the positive mark each individual can leave on their culture, community and environment; during her 14 years in Utah, she served on the board of Ballet West, as a docent at Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary, as a member of the Park City Leadership Class, and as the long-standing chairwoman of HawkWatch International. In the last three years, to her great delight, she created (in cooperation with the BLM) the Raptor Inventory Nest Survey (RINS), gathering over 100 volunteers to survey thousands of square miles of northern Utah, monitoring human and environmental effects on raptor nests and reproduction. It was during her first flight over this landscape she loved so well that she was killed. Tender-hearted, quietly determined, sensitive, spunky and forthright, she communicated her strong vision and moral philosophy with an enormous warmth. While touching the lives of many people, she was also deeply committed and close to her family, and to her beloved husband of 34 years, Leonard, who was with her for much of her RINS field work. Dawn was deeply loved and is greatly mourned.  She is survived by her husband, her daughter, Lithe Sebesta, her parents, Roy and Esther Wilson, and her brother, Daniel Wilson. Friends are invited to attend a memorial service this Saturday, Oct. 11, noon at the Park City Community Church, 4501 N. Highway 224. A reception will be held from 2-6 p.m. at 2466 Meadows Drive in Park City. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation to the Nature Conservancy, HawkWatch, or the Dr. Dawn W. Sebesta Memorial Trust (for the future of the RINS project and other environmental work), in care of Frontier Bank, 1245 Deer Valley Dr., Park City, Utah 84060.
Published by Deseret News on Oct. 8, 2003.
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15 Entries
You will be missed terribly, Dawn. I wish our last moments together could have been better. Most of all, Rob and I wish you could have met our children. You are the reason we met.

Peace forever...
Marti & Rob Ouellette
October 21, 2003
We are so deeply sorry to hear of your tragic loss Len and Lithe. We are saying our prayers that you will find some peace and some comfort soon. Your beloved Dawn will be sadly missed by all of us. We send our sincere love and our sympathy to you both. Rob and Kathy Roach.
Robert & Kathleen Roach
October 11, 2003
I will always remember Dawn for the love, passion, enthusiasm, and patience she showed for the work she did and the people she worked with. Every time I see a bird of prey I see Dawn. I believe she is soaring, with her birds, high above. I thoroughly enjoyed her, and am a better person because I knew her. She is missed.
Wendy Wilson
October 11, 2003
Len and Lithe,
Although I've not known Dawn in recent years, she will forever have a special place in my heart. I looked up to her with respect and awe when we were young, not only because she was my oldest female cousin AND lived in exotic places; but mostly because she was so caring, thoughtful, and full of life. She liked everyone she met and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
My heart goes out to you and your family at this sad time.
Carol Smith
October 10, 2003
Dawn was my neighbor who I always meant to get-to-know better.Several weeks age we met in our mutual back yards, had a warm, wonderful conversation, hugged and I vowed to see her more often. A week later we happened to be on the Park City sponsored tour to Colorado, and I had the opportunity to spend several hours sitting with her and hearing about her fascinating life. What an interesting, kind, sensitive and fun woman she was. It is my loss that I did not know her better.My love and sympathy are sent to Lithe and Len. What a loss for you, our community and the neighborhood.
lynn fey
October 10, 2003
Although I didn't know her for very long, I enjoyed talking with and learning new things from Dawn. What a ray of sunshine! My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Len and Lithe.

Tracy Ronan (RINS volunteer)
Tracy Ronan
October 10, 2003
Dawn was an extraordinary human being and my life was greatly blessed by knowing her. Her presence in the field was professional and full of wild-hearted passion for her causes in life. I will never forget her face last year while chasing 3 long eared owls through the Juniper branches. I giggled with my specs on the owls but also on Dawn as she crawled through the rough on her belly, wide-eyed and excited like a child. In the moment, this brought tears to my eyes and now, even more, as a sad song wails in my heart for her early passing. Len and Lithe, my heart & love goes out to you both. I will always remember her for the many things she taught me about Raptors, being an exceptional person and I will always feel sad about this tragedy. She will be greatly missed- even by the Raptors that seemed to appear out of nowhere to watch her in return.

~Angela Palmer (relatively new volunteer nonetheless)
Angela Palmer
October 9, 2003
As an very active and dedicated member of our wheelus Ex-Student Association, Dawn will be missed. She was involved in finding many of her classmates and our friends. We send our prayers for her family.
Sallye Stapleton
October 9, 2003
This cannot be. This cannot be.
I count it among the privileges of my life that I knew this woman.
My prayers are with her family and friends.
Irene Maxfield
October 9, 2003
We enjoyed working with Dawn and benefitted from her sharing her knowledge and expertise. We greatly respected the teamwork you both displayed. Our hearts are sad with you.
John & Carol Gruber
October 9, 2003
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sebesta and Wilson Families.
Rene & Susan Ramirez
October 8, 2003
You were always in my heart and will stay there.

May memories keep your loved ones at Peace.

Forever in my heart and mind,

Terri 65'
Terri Muller Moyers
October 8, 2003
We are so very sorry for your loss.
With deepest sympathy.
Bill and Karen Duette
Karen J Melsha Duette
October 8, 2003
Dear Leonard and Lithe,
As everyone, we were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Dawn's passing. Please accept our condolences on this tragic loss.
Al and Joanne
Joanne and Albert Krueger
October 8, 2003
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Micheline Winslett Tielke
WHS '67
Micheline (Winslett) Tielke
October 8, 2003
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