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Bremerton's first mayor was 'sunny and bright' on darkest days
On Tuesday Bremerton lost a former mayor and city councilman, a family lost a loving, generous husband, father and grandfather and the world lost a great human being as Maurice Morrie Dawkins died after battling a long illness.
Those who knew him best remember his giving spirit and contagious optimism that made even the darkest of days seem sunny and bright, and those who had the good fortune to meet him recall how he never met a stranger.
Dawkins was the citys first mayor when it changed its governing system in 1983. After his term as mayor ended in 1985, he continued serving the city as the District 2 councilman from 1986 to 1995.
When it came to the citys parks system, Dawkins was a tireless advocate for it as he served numerous years on the citys parks and recreation board which helped create the abundance of parks city residents enjoy today.
He was also a member of the Bremerton Central Lions Club and before fading into the twilight of his later years, Dawkins was a fixture at Blackberry Festival helping sell the Lions famed blackberry slugs.
His children have carried on his legacy of giving as each of his three daughters are strongly committed to helping others and making a difference in the lives of others in their respective careers.
One of his daughters, Linda McClintock operates Evergreen Trophy Shop, which her father ran for many years in downtown Bremerton. Another daughter, Joni Earl is the chief executive officer of Sound Transit.
There may not be any monuments or places named in honor of Dawkins, but the indelible positive impacts he had on the lives of all who knew him, met him and heard about him speak far greater volumes about the humble greatness of the man.
Dawkins like so many others of his generation understood the value of giving back and stood fast to the mantra that it is indeed better to give than to receive, and sadly this nation is losing more and more of these great men and women who have made our nation so great.
This is truly a time for sorrow as a city grieves the loss of a leader and friend, but its also a time to reflect and remember Morrie for how he lived his life with a youthful exuberance and zeal that came natural.
A memorial service is planned for late June so everyone whose life was made better by this great man can come together and share their favorite memories, so from the Patriot staff to Morries family, our deepest and sincerest sympathies and thoughts are with you and Morrie from everyone who knew you, thanks for the memories.