She considered death to be like taking off a tight shoe and spoke often of crossing over to a place filled with joy and loved ones who have crossed before, to a place easily as full of life as this one.
Dawna (Donna Jo) was born in 1946 in Twisp, Wash., the eldest daughter of Josephine and Larry Laughlin, who have preceded her in passing. She was a graduate of Twisp High School (now the community center) in 1965 and received her bachelors of arts degree from the University of Washington and her masters of arts degree in nonprofit management from Antioch University of Seattle.
She is survived by her husband Nick Fowler of Clinton; her daughter Cyra Schutten of Seattle; her sister Jennifer Laughlin and brother-in-law Patrick McGann in Anacortes; daughter-in-law and son-in-law Tanya and Brian Boyd of Clinton; grandchildren Caelen, Corin and Ciara Boyd; her three tomcats LG, Scamper and Boy Kitty; as well as a host of close friends.
After serving on the staff of Rep. Lloyd Meeds (D-WA Dist 2), Dawna returned to her beloved Puget Sound region. She joined Providence Hospital Foundation, becoming its first planned giving director and securing major support for the hospital’s mission before transitioning to the Sisters of Providence Health System corporate office chronicling the system’s work. In her later career she became one of the most distinguished grant writers in the Northwest for various charitable, spiritual, environmental and other progressive nonprofits, most of it with Sisters of Providence, KCTS-TV and later the Whidbey Institute. Besides her abilities in raising funds for good causes, she was an accomplished essayist and poet, a talented member of several choirs and choral groups, master gardener, amateur botanist, home chef, rabid reader and “Mistress of Pesto.”
She passed away peacefully with family Oct. 13 after a courageous fight with cancer.
Services will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the UU meeting hall in Freeland.