A Life Well Lived...
Bernard “Debonair” Hughes Dawson lived an extraordinary life as a Man of God, Community Servant and Long-Time Entrepreneur. He began his earthly journey on February 18, 1930 in Raleigh, NC. In the early morning hours of Monday, January 11, 2021, he transitioned from earth to heaven at Atrium Post-Acute Care in Livingston, NJ.
Bernard was born as a twin (who passed away at birth) to the late John McCullum and Sarah Hughes and at six months of age he was adopted by the late Maria Jane Tinnin Reed. He was educated in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1951, he joined the United States Army and served in the Korean War, earning three Bronze Service Stars.
After being honorably discharged from the United States Army, Bernard moved to Newark, NJ in 1962 and began his career as a Barber at Stampers Barbershop on Elizabeth Avenue in Newark with his longtime friends Joe Warren, Roosevelt Graves, and Aaron Stamper, Sr. In 1972, he ventured out as an Entrepreneur, opening “Debonair’s Barbershop” on Chancellor & Maple Avenues, where he worked as a Barber and Mentor to young barbers for 32 years until he retired.
Shortly after arriving in New Jersey, he joined Greater Harvest Baptist Church in Newark, NJ under the leadership of the late Rev. Charles Banks. There he diligently served as a Trustee until he moved his membership to Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in East Orange, NJ, under the leadership of Pastor Niles R. Wilson. On July 17, 1983, he joined in holy matrimony to his dearly beloved wife, the late Annie L. Dawson, where they both faithfully served at Greater Harvest Baptist Church. After being widowed for some time, he then married the late Patricia Dawson.
“Debonair” was the definition of a hard worker and was well known in the community as a leader, fashion trendsetter, but most of all a Man of God. Up until five months before he entered into eternal rest, he continued to work at Good Brothers Barbershop (formerly known as Stampers Barbershop) in Hillside, NJ, helping out in any capacity he could. He had a great love for the residents of the senior citizen building on Court Street in Newark, NJ, where he resided, the staff of Kings Restaurant on Lyons Avenue where he ate breakfast daily and most of all he had a great admiration for his Pastor, Rev. Niles R. Wilson.
"Debonair" leaves to cherish his memory (from his union to Annie L. Dawson) step-daughters Karen Staten, Sharon Staten and Janette Brooks; step-sons Terry Lynn Staten (Gloria) and John D. Staten; daughter in law Regina Staten; brother-in law Charles (Catherine) Swann; grandchildren Juanetta Staten, Saleemah Staten, Abdul Staten, Ameerah McKoy, Siddeequah Harris, and Bilal Wali Currence; 13 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; goddaughter Tawanna Thomas; godsons Rev. Lamont Johnson and Shamar, Erees and Elijah Thomas; the family of Pat Dawson; special friends Bobbi Wright, Joe Warren, Roosevelt Graves, and Aaron Stamper, Sr.; staff of Kings Restaurant; Good Brothers Barbershop and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
New Jersey arrangements are entrusted to Cotton Funeral Service of Newark, New Jersey.
North Carolina arrangements are entrusted to McLeod Funeral Home of Sanford, North Carolina.
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