Welcome to the memorial page for

Mahlon "Jack" J. Dawley

October 15, 1923 ~ April 25, 2017 (age 93)

Jack Dawley, 93, passed away April 25, 2017 at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse. He was born at home in the Town of New Lyme on October 15, 1923 to Wesley Dawley and Martha Jankel Dawley.  Raised on the family dairy farm in rural Sparta, he graduated from Sparta High School in 1941.  Shortly thereafter, he joined the Army and served in the Medical Corps.  In June, 1943, a chance meeting on a bus introduced him to a young Chicago woman, Helen Froehlich, and they were married December 4 of the same year.  At the end of WWII, Jack returned from sixteen months in the Pacific Theater, and they moved to Sparta where he purchased a milk route.

Jack worked several jobs during his work life, primarily working as a machinist and carpenter.  He spent many years working at Ft. McCoy and retired from there in 1987.  After retirement, Jack and Helen traveled widely in their motor home, for many years spending the colder months in Mesa, AZ.  They led an active life square dancing, round dancing and enjoying Jeep trips into the desert with their wide circle of friends.  Several years ago they returned to Sparta year round.

In October, 2015, Jack went on the 16th Freedom Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. and visited the WWII Memorial and several others.  One of a small number of WWII veterans on the trip, it was a special and meaningful day for him.

Jack had a variety of interests and enjoyed snowmobiling and motorcycling, in addition to being a life-long fan of auto racing and John Deere tractors and collectibles.  He enjoyed music and singing and was a member of the Sparta Barbershop singing group.

Jack is survived by two daughters, Nalrae Horman of Onalaska, and Jackie Dawley (Lynn DeVon) of San Francisco, two grandchildren, Jody (Melissa) Horman of Holmen, and Emilie Coulon of Aix-en-Provence, France, four great grandsons, Andy, Sam and JT Horman and Ethan Coulon, and a niece and nephew, Kate and Marv Spielman of Sparta.  Jack was predeceased by his wife, Helen.  He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.  The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Freedom Honor Flight.

A private family burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Sparta. A Celebration of Life will be held from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at Prairie House, 318 E. Montgomery Street, Sparta. To leave an online condolence for the Dawley family, please visit

The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

 Service Information

Celebration of Life
July 12, 2017

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Prairie House
318 E. Montgomery Street
Sparta, WI 54656

Private Committal

Woodlawn Cemetery
875 N. Water St.
Sparta, WI 54656

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