Long time City of Red Deer Councillor and historian Michael Dawe has passed away. His family released a statement on Boxing Day saying that the man who was once called Red Deer's Beloved Citizen had died on Christmas Eve.
Red Deer City Mayor, Ken Johnston released the following statement on his passing.
With much grief and sadness on my heart, I must share, on behalf of my council colleagues the unexpected passing of City Councillor and Red Deer’s most beloved historian, Michael Dawe.
Michael’s family has informed us that he passed away on December 24, 2023, and at this time, we must honour his life, and all the good he contributed to this city and to those who surrounded him.
Michael was an insightful and thoughtful community leader who loved the city of Red Deer with his whole heart. He was devoted to the service of the city, and he made it his life’s work to tell the story of Red Deer and to share the rich history of this community with everybody around him.
His roots in this city run deep. He was a proud Albertan, and a proud Red Deerian. But even more important, he was a colleague and friend who will be deeply missed by not only The City of Red Deer and City Council, but by the many who knew and loved him.
Michael served at the Red Deer City Council table starting in 2017, but his time on Council isn’t his only foray into public service. He committed his life to public service, serving on innumerable boards and for many public organizations, including The City of Red Deer. In fact, Michael was one of the founding members of the Alberta Society of Archivists – an important organization committed to ensuring Alberta archives are championed in their communities. Michael truly lived the idea that “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”. It was simply who he was. He was a public servant, a storyteller, an author, a councillor, a colleague, a community leader and most importantly, a friend to everyone who knew him.
Michael Dawe will be truly missed by me, and by his Council colleagues. I cannot express the loss we feel in knowing he will not join us at the Council table in January, and I also know this loss cannot compare to that which is being felt by his beloved family at this time.
Today, and as we step into a new year without him by our side, I invite our community to think about the many contributions of our dear friend Mr. Michael Dawe. On behalf of City Council and everybody at The City of Red Deer, I want to express our collective sorrow and to share our heartfelt sympathies with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed, and he leaves an indelible mark on our community that loved, and still loves him so much.
The flags at Red Deer City Hall will be brought to half mast, in the coming day, in recognition of Councillor Michael Dawe’s passing.
Mayor Ken Johnston