Dawn Marie Hannigan (Elmberg) was born August 10, 1952 to Donald and Jean Elmberg in Minneapolis, MN. She was later joined by a brother, Mark, in 1955. Dawn completed her early education, along with her brother Mark, at Minnehaha Academy. She later furthered her education at the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State. She ultimately earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education. Dawn found a passion in education at an early age and worked in Special Education, as her mother Jean did, for many years. Dawn remained passionate for shaping young minds and was always involved in some form of education or educational activities. Dawn often fondly spoke of her younger years and driving around in her beloved Thunderbird with friends, family, and various dogs.
Dawn met her loving husband, John, when they were working together at the Hartford. They married in 1990 at Fort Snelling with her father, Donald, officiating the ceremony. Dawn continued to work until she and John welcomed their sons Sean (Anna Meyers) in 1993 and Erik (Erin) in 1995. Dawn was an extremely dedicated mother to her boys and was always present for all their activities. Dawn and John were very active in the local Boy Scouts Troop while Sean and Erik worked up to both being Eagle Scouts and remained active in the organization for years to come. Dawn received numerous recognitions for her mentorship to many different scouts who participated in the local troop. Dawn and John were blessed to make many friends through scouts and grow their community involvement throughout the years. Dawn was also an active member with the Mound American Legion and found joy and purpose giving back to Veterans and local community members. Dawn’s father, Donald, served in the Army during World War II and she was always extremely proud of the service of her sons Sean, in the Army National Guard, and Erik, in the Air Force Reserves. You could often find her wearing a charm bracelet with their names and branches attached to show her support and love for her boys.
Dawn was a mother to all – her own sons, their significant others, friends, scouts, and anyone who she could tell needed a helping hand. She was also a life-long dog lover and treated her children’s dogs as her own. You always knew when Grandma arrived as the dogs would go crazy for her as she walked in with treats and toys in hand. Dawn had many dogs throughout the years and loved them all with all her heart. She spoke fondly of the family dog, Tonka – a Great Dane, and the fun times they had with her as Sean and Erik were growing up. In recent years, Dawn was excited to become a grandma to Murphy (Erik and Erin) with another grandson on the way in January. She always had a smile on her face for her grandson and wanted to be right there with him to see everything he was doing.
Dawn began her fight with endometrial cancer early in 2023. She never wanted anyone to worry on her behalf, so she fought cancer with the help of her close family. Dawn passed away due to complications from her cancer on October 23, 2023. She passed peacefully with her husband, John, by her side. Dawn was preceded in death by her father Donald, mother Jean, brother Mark. She is survived by her husband John, son Sean (Anna Meyers), son Erik (Erin), and her grandsons Murphy and baby on the way. Dawn will be missed as a wife, mom, grandma, and friend. We know that we will see her and laugh with her again one day.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Dawn
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota