It is with profound sadness we share our loss in the passing of Dawn Pearson-Collins on September 28, 2020, at the Oshawa Hospital. She is lovingly remembered by her soulmate and husband of 20 years, Rickard Collins. She will be missed by her twin brothers Christopher and Peter; her half-brothers, Steve, Tim, and Jonathan; her sisters-in-law, Anne, Jane, Tope, Ruth, Janie, Philippa, Julie and Carrie; her brother-in-law Doug, and her nieces and nephews of whom she was very proud, Jennie, Rebecca, Suzie, Lori, Andrea, Emily, Simon, Leo, Steve, and Graham. She will be deeply missed by her very dear friend Zelda and all her friends with whom she shared her passions, humour, and so many fun occasions.
Dawn is predeceased by her loving mother Daphne and her father Arthur as well as her dear brother Anthony who passed away in 2017.
Born in London, England, Dawn’s artistic soul was evident as a child and she honed her artistic talents in a London art school. Dawn was everything a big sister should be; kind, encouraging, supportive, fun to be with, and good heartedly enduring the boyish pranks of her younger twin brothers—even when they tied her to a tree in the park and left her there! She became an accomplished horsewoman in her own right, saving hard for each riding lesson. In the mid-fifties, Dawn, as a Debutante, was presented to the Queen at court. Dawn recounted the Duke of Edinburgh grinning at her. Later, with her youthful enthusiasm, she bravely headed to Canada in 1967 with a friend for an adventure. With courage and determination, she stayed, making Toronto her new home. Always looking to advance her skills, she then studied Graphic Arts at George Brown College.
With her poise and style, Dawn expressed her artistic flare in her modelling career, as a window dresser for Mark’s & Spencer’s, and as a fragrance consultant with The Bay for 25 years. Although her brothers missed her in London, they knew she was happily settled in Canada and very much appreciated the “loads of free aftershave samples”.
Like most artists, Dawn painted throughout her other careers. Her life and paintings are evidence that she lived as an artist. Her paintings unite her artistic vision, the warmth and caring of her kind heart, and her quiet passion for nature and its furry and feathered inhabitants. Her brother Christopher describes that “one could almost feel the breath of the horses she painted”. Dawn’s talent earned the honour of the Oshawa’s Senior Artist Award in 2012. Her love of nature is expressed in her art and her garden, which brought nature into her daily life. Dawn was also an avid reader; knowledgeable in conservation (of course), politics, history, and fiction, both classic and contemporary. Her cultured British upbringing was reflected in her enjoyment of a wide range of music, theatre and cinema.
Dawn’s kindness and generosity of spirit enhanced the lives of those who knew her. Her quiet disposition and love of conversation combined with her beautiful warm smile was an invitation to relax in the moment with her for a meaningful and valued connection. Dawn’s legacy to us all is to look with a kind heart to see the beauty before us and to express this in the kindness and caring we exchange each day. Thank you, Dawn, for shining your light into our lives so that we can see and appreciate the beauty we share—in this way you remain with us always.
For Dawn, her generous and caring disposition was clearly evident in her love for her furry companions, Toby and Sheba. She was passionate about animals and in honour of this caring spirit; donations to the Humane Society of Durham Region will be appreciated.
We send a special thank you to the kind and caring people with the Saint Elizabeth Health Home Care-Oshawa, and the Lakeridge Hospital-Oshawa, who respected Dawn’s values in her decisions and provided her such compassionate care.