Dawn Renea Grier Smith 1979 - 2011 Lawrence
Smith, Dawn Renea (Grier), 31, of Lawrence, passed away Monday, February 21, 2011 at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, surrounded by many family members and friends who loved and cherished her. Dawn was born in Wichita, Kansas on September 20, 1979. She graduated from Goddard high school and attended the University of Kansas. At KU she resided in Miller Scholarship Hall, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics and a minor in German, and achieving a 3.9/4.0 grade point average.
Shortly before graduating, Dawn felt a call to Christian ministry and pursued post-graduate education in California though Victory Campus Ministries. Following completion of her ministerial certification, Dawn began a career she loved, working for Midwest Student Ministries at the University of Kansas.
It was through her work that she met the love of her life, Austin Andrew Bondurant Smith. Austin also worked in ministry, sharing her passion for serving others and her love and trust of Jesus Christ. The two were married in Lawrence, Kansas on January 5, 2008. Dawn was known for her wisdom and kindness, particularly in counseling women who had suffered abused.
She always carried herself with grace and exemplified courage as she struggled with the genetic disorder, Cystic Fibrosis. She was adamant that the illness would in no way define her life and it did not. Instead, Dawn will always be remembered for her intelligence, kindness and sensitivity, her compassion and love, and her complete lack of self-pity or bitterness.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Shannon Grier Tran and by her grandfather, Al Grier and grandfathers-in-law, Phil Siegrist and Norman Smith.
She is survived by her husband, Austin Smith, of Lawrence, her mother and step-father, Margie and Paul Lillig, father and step-mother, Kent and Jan Harrison Grier, all of Wichita, her mother-in-law, Kathy Siegrist, of Overland Park, KS., her father-in-law, the Reverend Dr. Ray Smith, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Travis and April Smith, all of Spokane, WA., sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ashley and Mark Ware of Gardner, KS., grandparents, Janette Grier and Sue Lillig, both of Wichita, Carol Burroughs and Bob and Betsy Wolfslau of St. Louis, MO., grandmothers-in-law, Amber Lou Smith of Spokane, WA. and Marietta Siegrist of Overland Park, KS. Dawn is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and innumerable friends.
A memorial service celebrating Dawn’s life will be held Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 1 p.m. at Morning Star Church, 998 North 1771 Road, Lawrence, Kansas, 66049. Floral tributes may be sent directly to the church. However, in lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established with Midwest Student Ministries, account number #110, P.O. Box 550, Lawrence, KS. 66044.