GRAY, DAWN RENAE (SMITH), age 40, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away Thursday, April 8, 2021, at her home surrounded in the love of family and friends after an 11 month battle with breast cancer.
Dawn was born July 28, 1980 in Clare, the daughter of David and Linda (Higgins) Smith. She was a graduate of Clare High School with the class of 1999, where she made many lifelong friends. Dawn married Philip Gray on January 13, 2014 in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
Dawn loved life and lived daily into her nickname, “Sunshine” outwardly through her bright and beautiful smile, joyous and infectious laugh and colorful Lilly Pulitzer attire, as well as inwardly through her love for her friends and family, her beaming personality that attracted people to her and instantly made them feel welcomed (Dawn made friends everywhere she went) and by her giving nature. Dawn thought of the needs of others before her own, including bringing sunshine to other cancer patients through the donation of support bags to other cancer patients even during her own battle with the disease.
Dawn loved traveling, especially to the Caribbean and spending time on the beach at the ocean, she enjoyed camping, campfires and cookouts, essentially any reason to spend time with the people she loved. Dawn appreciated laughter, sarcasm and the ability to make light of life’s tough situations. Dawn approached every situation with a positive attitude which was most evident throughout her illness, where she wouldn’t even let her diagnosis get her down.
Dawn is survived by her husband Phil Gray of Mt Pleasant, her furbabies Mr. Bo and Teddy; parents David and Linda Smith of Coleman; brother David (Jen) Smith of Farwell, sister Dana (Nick) Thering of Clare, nieces and nephews that thought more than the world of her Paige, Peyton, Caleb and Riley, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends that were like family for which there are too numerous to name. As her niece said “Dawn was everyone’s favorite human”. Dawn was preceded in death by her furbabies Sergeant and Maxwell, grandparents Leo and Ruth Higgins of Farwell and William and Joyce Dorland of Clare.
The family would also like to say a special thank-you on behalf of Dawn to her medical team, including Dr.’s Tannu Sahay and Mark Fireman and their amazing staff, as well as the nurses and staff at the infusion center at MidMichigan Medical Center – Mt. Pleasant. We thank you for caring so much about Dawn and supporting her in many different ways throughout her battle, you were so much more than a care team to her and she cherished the friendships she developed throughout her treatment.
A celebration of life service will be held at a later date this coming summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Dawn to The Pardee Cancer Treatment Fund, 4201 Campus Ridge Suite 1275, Midland, MI 48670, an organization that supported Dawn throughout her own battle and to which she was eternally grateful.