Cover photo for Russell H. Dawson's Obituary
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1939 Russell H. Dawson 2023

Russell H. Dawson

August 20, 1939 — June 9, 2023




Russell H. Dawson, 83, died Friday, June 9, 2023, at Spring Creek Health Care in Murray.  Well known for his stone masonry, Russell leaves a rich legacy of countless stone structures in west Kentucky and beyond, with some projects being enormous and taking years to complete. 

Russell was born in 1939 in Michigan and spent much of his childhood at his grandmother’s home in Oakville, Kentucky, in Logan County.  He finished his last two years of high school at Logan County before attending Murray State University where he ran track, competing in the mile, half-mile and quarter-mile relay; and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art.  Russell taught high school art in Missouri and Wyoming in the late 1960s. It was after leaving teaching and returning to Murray that Russell, in his 30s, developed a passion for stone masonry and began principally laying stone for a living.

For more than 30 years, Russell assembled massive stone veneers around fireplaces and chimneys and created intricately designed patios, entry ways and retaining walls, many at the homes of private individuals. Each one of Russell’s stone constructions is a unique and original work of art distinguished by his awareness of and appreciation for the physical and aesthetic qualities of rocks.

Survivors include a daughter, Charlotte Dawson Overlay of Oakfield, Tennessee; a grandson, Aaron Dawson of Oakfield, Tennessee; a granddaughter, Wynne Dawson of Oakfield, Tennessee; and two brothers, David W. Dawson of Cedar Hill, Tennessee and James L. Dawson of Fishers, Indiana.

Internment will be held on Thursday July 6, 2023, at 4:00 p.m., at St. John’s Episcopal Church Memorial Garden, 1620 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky 42071.  A reception will follow on the back patio of the Murray Art Guild, 500 North 4th Street, Murray, Kentucky 42071.

Online condolences can be made at

The J.H. Churchill Funeral Home and Cremation and Services is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russell H. Dawson, please visit our flower store.


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