Heartfelt tributes pour in for inspirational Clitheroe businesswoman and charity stalwart
Tributes have poured in for a much-loved and well-respected Clitheroe businesswoman who died after a courageous four-year battle against secondary breast cancer.
Judith Dawson died at home on Friday surrounded by her three children - Mandy Sutherland, Simon and Stephen Dawson, aged 71.
A prominent character in the town, Mrs Dawson was well known for running Dawsons Department Store in Clitheroe and more recently Skipton. She worked at the popular store until Christmas 2019, when ill-health forced her to take a back seat.
Born in Burnley, but lived in Clitheroe from a very young age, Mrs Dawson attended Westholme School, before continuing her education at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. After completing her A-levels, she attended the University of Manchester to gain her teaching qualifications.
She met her husband-to-be Robin Edward Dawson and the couple married in 1973. Mrs Dawson taught for 20 years until the sudden death of her husband when she was 42 years old. She then took over the running of the business and her hard work and commitment saw the business go from strength-to strength, creating jobs, expanding and the opening of a new store in Skipton.
Mrs Dawson immersed herself not only in the small business sector of the town, but the wider community too. She enjoyed supporting charities - donating thousands towards deserving causes. She carried out numerous talks in her local community concerning women in business and the challenges she had faced in her life. She was an ambassador for supporting causes and groups in the local area. A member of Ribblesdale Rotary Club, she also felt very strongly about environmental issues e.g. plastic pollution and recycling.
A member of Clitheroe United Reform Church, outside work, the grandmother-of-seven loved spending time with her family.
Paying tribute, her heartbroken family said: "Our mum lived life to the full. She was a fun-loving, strong and independent lady who was beautiful inside and out. She will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure to know her."