The Rev. Ellis B. Dawson III, an electrician who later in life realized his dream of becoming a Baptist minister, died Saturday from complications of diabetes at Frederick Villa Nursing Center.
He was 72.
The son of a minister and a beautician, Dr. Dawson was born and raised in Baltimore. After graduating from Douglass High School in 1958, he attended what is now Morgan State University, where he studied music.
In 1961, he took a job as an electrician at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant, where he worked until retiring in 1999.
After retiring from Bethlehem Steel, he taught electronics at Tesst College of Technology in Beltsville for several years.
It was in the late 1980s that Dr. Dawson decided to pursue a career in the ministry and enrolled at the Philadelphia Bible College, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1991, master's in 1992 and Ph.D. in theology the next year.
For many years, he had been the associate pastor of Dalton Baptist Church in the 4300 block of Garrison Ave. and was also frequently asked to be a guest pastor and pianist at area churches, family members said.
"Church and pastoring were his full-time hobbies," said a son, Timothy Dawson Sr. of Columbia.
The Wyanoke Avenue resident enjoyed playing the piano and was a fan of drag racing.
His wife of 31 years, the former Dorothy Smith, died in 1993.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Phillips Funeral Home, 1721 N. Monroe St.
Also surviving are two other sons, Ellis B. Dawson IV of Pikesville and Marvin W. Dawson of Prince George's County; a daughter, Lenora A. Dawson of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.