Dwain Edward Rawley was born in Polson, Montana on February 2, 1949.
He grew up in Coulee Dam, Washington and was a true child of the 50s. He spoke glowingly of his mid-century, small town childhood, often telling stories of camping, fishing and hunting in the forests and hills of central Washington state. He would often tell us of how his “shoes would come off on the last day of school and wouldn’t go on again until after Labor Day.”
Dwain grew up loving all things mechanical and all things that moved. Cars, motorcycles, airplanes, rockets, trains and boats — he loved and was fascinated by them all. Watching Steve McQueen make his Great Escape in his modified 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy or Sean Connery outrun Goldfinger in his Aston Martin DB5, young Dwain wanted nothing more than to drive fast and ride far. His love of all means of transportation led him to become an expert mechanic, architect, engineer, and carpenter. He really could build or fix anything.
Seventeen-year-old Dwain met the love of his life, Kathleen Fae Sackett, at a dance in the fall of 1966. Local band, The Shakers, played the hits of the day and Dwain fell head over heels in love. Kathy was still a high school sophomore, so the two dated for three years until her graduation in 1969 and then married. They started their married life in a small house in Delano, Washington and had a son, Wayne Stewart Rawley II, in 1970. Dwain — known as Dee to his friends and family — worked at Wright’s Chevrolet in Grand Coulee and eventually got work as a laborer on the third power plant of the Grand Coulee Dam. His daughter, Kristine Rae Rawley, was born in 1973.
Dwain, Kathy and their new family followed work from Grand Coulee to Western Washington, back to Coulee Dam, until they finally settled in Marysville Meadows Mobile Home Park in Marysville, Washington. Dwain went to work on many jobs as a journeyman carpenter, building parts of the Pike Place Market, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Swedish First Hill Medical Center where his grandson would be born over 30 years later. His career provided him with plenty of good stories as well as lifelong friendships that he valued dearly.
Dwain and Kathy raised their kids in their double-wide mobile home for the next 15 years. He was a scoutmaster in the Boy and Girl Scouts, Little League coach, basketball dad, and set-builder for high school theater productions. He taught any kid, boy or girl, who came by the yard to tie knots, hammer nails, pitch tents, whittle and build model boats. He was a hero to the kids in a small community where father figures were scarce. He never turned anyone away. Dwain would lend a helping hand to all comers.
In the early 90s Dwain became a favorite uncle to a whole generation of nieces and nephews and he loved building cribs, airplane models, rocking horses, toy chests, and wooden swords for all of them. Rob, Derek, Luke, Zach, Hannah, Kelsey, Sierra, Jordan, Aaron, Savannah, Matthew, Grayson, Max and later Roman, were all “Uncle Dee’s” favorites.
Later in his career, Dwain became a Construction Superintendent with M.A. Mortenson, which gave him and Kathy the opportunity to travel extensively while he was building structures that helped connect internet fiber around the globe. He was very proud of shutting down a street in Manhattan to load giant HVAC units onto a building top and of living in Japan for a year. He loved adventure and learning about new places and new cultures. In his life, he built boats and cars, repaired and rode motorcycles, and loved going on road trips with his wife and family. He loved the open road. He loved travel — literally any kind of travel and he was always very grateful for the opportunities he had to see the United States and the world.
He also loved Godzilla movies (any movie with a “guy in a rubber suit”), Monty Python, Douglas Adams, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Kurt Vonnegut and Thor Heyerdahl.
His granddaughter Stella Kathleen Rawley was born in 2009 and his grandson Weston Samuel Rawley in 2013 and he loved them most of all. Being their grandfather was the best time of his life. And, he was very good at it. One of Weston’s favorite moments with his grandfather was when they watched the latest Godzilla movie together. Dwain’s love for the perils of scientific hubris and the terror of the cold war has definitely been passed down to his future generations.
Dwain lived for his family. His extended family for sure, but he lived to help his wife, son and daughter navigate all the bumps and obstacles on the highway of life. If you had a flat tire, you could tick off the time he would be there in seconds. His love of cooking for his family is legendary as well. In addition to everything else, he was a great chef and kept his family well fed for decades.
Dwain was preceded in death by his father, Wayne Stewart Rawley I and his mother, Patricia Leah Rawley.
Dwain is survived by so many who loved him: his sisters, Shannon McClean, Rebecca Litz, and Victoria Kuiper; his brother and sister-in-law, Jay and Pami Rawley; his sister-in-law, Susan Sacket-Farrell; nieces, Amanda Chiles, Theresa Hughes and Jennifer Mclean-Smith; his in-laws, Larry and Nita Sackett and John and Jerry Sackett; and his daughter-in-law, Alyssa Bostwick. And of course, his son, daughter, and wife of 52 years.
Dwain will be remembered for his sense of humor, his kindness to others and his boundless love for his family. Everyone who ever met him thought he was something special and those closest to him knew just how special he was. He will be forever missed and forever loved.
Bergh Funeral Service & Crematory is in care of arrangements.