John Darren Dawson

john dawson

September 13, 1958 ~ December 22, 2023

Born in: Buncombe Co., NC
Resided in: Candler, NC

John “Darren” Dawson, 65, passed away unexpectedly at his residence in Candler on December 22, 2023.

Darren, a native of Buncombe County, was preceded in death by his parents John L. Dawson and Sylvia Peele Dawson.

He was a 1976 graduate of Enka High school and graduated from Western Carolina University, earning a BS in Business Marketing. Darren was employed by US Smokeless Tobacco Company, retiring in 2009.

Darren was an avid sports fan. He especially liked following his favorite teams, the Carolina Tar Heels, Western Carolina Catamounts and MLB, particularly his Los Angeles Angels. While at WCU, Darren worked in the Athletic Department and was responsible for recording the first official “3” point shot in college basketball history. Darren continued to be involved in sports through his support of his nephew and niece in youth, middle school and high school sports. After moving back to Candler, Darren supported Enka High School athletics as a statistician for the Enka High football and basketball teams.

Darren is survived by a brother, Michael Dawson (Kim); nephew, Matt Dawson (Erin); niece, Katie Sorrells (Travis); and three great-nephews, Ty and Kase Sorrells, and Pierce Dawson.

A gathering for family and friends will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, at Groce Funeral Home, Patton Avenue.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent Enka High School Athletics in Darren’s memory, 475 Enka Lake Rd., Candler, NC 28715.


Gathering of Friends & Family: January 2, 2024 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. When we walked in the neighborhood we would always have a nice long chat with Darren, if he was out in his yard. Of course we talked about our team the Tar Heels. He was like Sylvia loved to talk. He will be missed at Enka High School and in our neighborhood. Love and prayers to the family.

  2. Darren was a student assistant with me while at Western. He was super dependable and trustworthy. And he was Purple at his core. RIP fellow Catamount.

  3. Darren is a very good friend. His mother and I were best friends from High School years.
    Our years together will always be remembered. Sympathy to all the family with our love.

  4. Mike, Kim, and Family,
    We are so sorry for the sudden loss of your brother. He will “keep the score books” for the Lord until we get to join him in heaven. May the Lord give you grace, comfort, and peace at this time.
    Our Love in Jesus,
    Royce & Gwenda

  5. Mike and Kim and family
    Sorry to see this about your brother
    Prayers going up
    “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord
    Ronnie and Susan and Lindsey and family

    • Thank you and Anna so much of thinking of us and sending the beautiful plant. Grateful for your friendship.
      Mike and Kim

  6. So very sorry to see this. Darren was part of our tailgate family at Western Carolina. He loved his catamounts. We always looked forward to seeing him and will miss him. Our tailgates will not be the same.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. He really loved those tailgates with you all. Look forward to seeing you all next season.
      Mike and Kim

  7. We are so sorry to hear about Darren. We all have great memories of times we have spent together and all the laughs we have had. Thinking of your family during this time.

  8. Joanne and I are so sorry to hear about Darren’s passing. The Catamount family has lost a great fan, alumni, and supporter. We miss seeing and talking Catamount athletics with Darren. Rest in Peace my Catamount brother.

    • He definitely knew about those Catamounts! Full of Cat history! We appreciate you all always being so kind to include him. See you next season.
      Mike and Kim

  9. I spoke to Darren a couple of times many years ago (but never met him in person) however since he was an owner in our retro baseball league through the past 20 years I still feel like I knew him. This is a tragic loss — he was far too young — and I will miss him greatly. My sincerest condolences to Darren’s family and friends.

  10. Mike and Family, We are so sorry for the sudden and unexpected loss of your brother. Prayers for God’s peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  11. Mike & Jim,

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. I did not know how but remember your Dad talking about him. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Jim Tart

  12. Darren was probably one of the coolest guys to be around after basketball games. whether it was at applebees or just in the parking lot outside. He was always making me and the guys crack up. I just found out about this loss and I was devastated to hear about it. Fly High Darren! The whole 21-22 enka team is praying for you

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