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Former Bremerton Mayor Dawkins, 84, remembered fondly

Former mayor dead at 84.

Those who knew former Bremerton Mayor Maurice “Morrie” Dawkins all agreed that he never met a stranger in his entire life.

Dawkins passed away in Poulsbo on Tuesday. He was 84.

“He never met a stranger and once he knew you, he was your best friend,” Dawkins’ oldest daughter, Linda McClintock said.

McClintock runs Evergreen Trophy Shop in downtown Bremerton, which her father formerly owned and operated.

Growing up McClintock remembers how her father was always optimistic and willing to help others, regardless of their race, ethnicity or any other cultural or societal difference.

“It didn’t matter whether it was the Filipino community or the Korean community or the Special Olympics, he would help out,” McClintock said.

Current Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman said Dawkins was a fine man who will be missed by all in the community.

“I knew Morrie for a short period of time and thought of him as someone who loved his community and who was one of the nice guys,” Bozeman said. “He treated everyone with respect and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.”

Lane and Deanna Dowell remember meeting Dawkins when he was a start at track and field events at West High School.

“We were told that he was an excellent high school athlete and found him to be a very personable and fair man,” Lane Dowell said.

Dawkins did indeed set several records as a member of the Bremerton High School track team, and is in the Kitsap and state bowling halls of fame for his prowess as a bowler.

Dawkins’ generosity extended into the classroom as he was a regular at Lane Dowell’s current events classes during his tenure as mayor.

“He would always answer my request for an appearance from the mayor with “When and for how long do you need me,” Dowell said. “Morrie loved kids and helping them grow and develop. What could be more noble.”

Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl, who is Dawkins’ youngest daughter, remembers her father as someone who was always giving back, whether it was on the city’s parks board, the city council or a mayor.

“It’s what I grew up with,” Earl said.

Living across from Evergreen Park, Earl recalled how she and her sisters swam at Memorial Pool during the summers as their father taught all of them how to swim.

For the most part their aquatic excursions weren’t too daring, but Earl said one day when she was about four-years-old her father put quite a scare into her mother.

“Dad taught me how to go off the diving board into the deep end and she was sitting in the stands and came out of her seat,” Earl said.

Fortunately, there wasn’t a mishap at the pool and all was eventually forgiven, she said.

In addition to learning how to swim, Earl said her father was active in softball and taught her how to keep score at about age 9.

“I still keep a score sheet at Mariners’ games,” Earl said.

In addition to serving in city government Dawkins a member of the Bremerton Central Lions Club, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce, the Olympic College Booster Club, Star of the Sea Catholic Church and was a past president of the the Kitsap Board of Realtors.

Dawkins’ is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Dawkins, daughters McClintock, Earl and Barbara Baldwin, and seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in late June at a date to be determined.

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