Patricia F. (Kirk) Dawson, 77, of Bellmead, one of Waco's first female police officers, died April 26th after a brief battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held Friday May 6th at 4pm at the Bellmead Funeral Home, 809 LaClede.
Patricia and her twin brother were the first twins born at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Training Station during World War II. She grew up in Bellmead, and attended the Bellmead First Baptist Church and went to school at LaVega. She graduated from LaVega High School in 1963.
Independent, assertive and self-reliant, she began working at the Coffman Barber & Beauty Shop at age 13. Before and after high school graduation, she attended 4-C Business College in Waco, also earning C.E.U.s from Baylor U. and McLennan Community College.
She was employed as an executive secretary at Pure Milk & Ice Cream Co., Porto-A-Stalls of Texas, and Chrysler Plymouth. During this time she also did outside work for W.T. Phillips, attorney at law. She then served in multiple roles at the Hillcrest School of Nursing until she later joined the State Dept. of Health & Human Services.
At age 33, with three young sons, she graduated second in her cadet class at the Waco Police Academy in 1978. She also worked Detective/Investigations, and also completed a decade in law enforcement as the first female officer in the Hewitt P.D.
Patricia later became a private investigator for Legal Support Services of Texas.
Mrs. Dawson was predeceased by her parents, Albert and Robbie (Porterfield) Kirk, and her husband of more than 25 years, Robert Louis Dawson, who passed in 2019.
Left to cherish her memory: Sons David Wayne Culp of Crawford and children Monica and Mallory; Donnie Lee Culp and his spouse Chris Busse of Austin; Jeromy Dale Ficke and wife Vanessa of Bruceville and their children Ethan and Lucy. Also, her brothers David Lee Kirk and wife Alice of Bellmead, Preston F. Kirk and wife Ronda Dale of Waco; nephew Jason Kirk and wife Kristi of Robinson and their children Bailey and Hannah.
The family would like to thank Baylor Scott and White Hospice and Right at Home Health Care for the compassionate care they gave Patricia.
Trish's favorite saying: ''Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming, 'Wow what a ride!'''
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Waco Police Department Victim Services Behind the Badge program at 3115 Pine Avenue, Waco TX 76708.