Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Dawson Lute

September 26, 2004 - November 2, 2021
Kalamazoo, MI


Life Story Visitation

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Driving Directions


Wednesday, November 10, 2021
1:00 PM EST
First Assembly Church
5550 Oakland Drive
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 329-1977

Family will receive friends one hour prior. Lunch will follow the service at the Life Story Center (Betzler Life Story Funeral Home).


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kalamazoo Christian Schools
2121 Stadium Dr.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Dynamic, vibrant, and intelligent, Dawson Lute lived a heart-centered life. From the start, Dawson possessed a gift for lighting the hearts of others and inspiring delight wherever he went. With a passion for learning and exploring, he confidently embraced life with a sense of wonder, compassion, and unwavering faith. Dawson's welcoming smile and kind words often lightened the burdens others carried. A cherished son, grandson, student, teammate, and friend, Dawson's spirit was larger than life. He was a young man with big dreams and aspirations that wanted to change the world. And, while our days with him were far too few, Dawson's bright light will continue to shine in the hearts of those who were blessed to know him.

2004 was a year of incredible change and hope for a bright future. While Facebook was first launched from a Harvard dorm room, and Google introduced the free email service Gmail, after 11 seasons, the nation's favorite TV sitcom, Cheers, came to an end. American Idol now dominated the television, while The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King drew thousands to the theaters. It was on the wave of hope that newlyweds, Joshua and Kandace, were excited to learn they were having a baby.

Despite being a hard pregnancy for Kandace, the couple was excited to become parents, and Kandace desperately wanted a boy. On a cool fall day, Sunday, September 26, 2004, at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, Kandace and Joshua joyfully welcomed their little boy, Dawson Shane Lute into the world. It was a quick delivery, and though he was a little butterball of a baby of 8lbs and 1 oz, he spent four days in the NICU at the hospital before they could bring him home

A blue-eyed boy, who resembled his mother, Dawson was a very curious child. He was intelligent beyond his years and could carry on an adult conversation from an early age. At the tender age of nine, he was expertly putting together Lego sets designed for 16-year-olds. His naturally inquisitive nature, maturity, and verbal prowess made him a favorite with many of his teachers at Kalamazoo Christian Schools.

Dawson's love of learning included a passion for tall buildings and proficiency in his school work. He was a kid who relished going to Chicago to see the city's tall buildings and diverse architecture. He participated in geography bees, winning local events in grades 6,7,8, and earned an invitation to compete in Germany. His success in the history bee led him to Atlanta, Georgia, for further competition. He was bilingual and was part of the Spanish Immersion program at school and has been dual enrolled at Western Michigan since his Freshman year. Currently, a Junior at Kalamazoo Christian High School, Mr. Potter, his American Literature teacher, was one of his favorites along with Maestra Sabastiani “Sea Bass” who had been one of his teachers in elementary and middle school. Many of his teachers shared that their classes were always more interesting as a result of Dawson's different points of view and the energy he brought to class discussions. As a freshman and sophomore, Dawson participated on the quiz bowl team and in Mathletes.

In addition to his studies, Dawson was an active young man as he was a 3 year varsity member of the Kalamazoo Christian Cross Country Team which qualified for the state finals all of his years in high school. He liked to explore new areas in a kayak. He was excited to recently receive his own kayak and anticipated many adventures. Dawson had many interests, including listening to the classic 80s tunes of his parents' youth, Indie music, as well as Star Wars and Fast and Furious movies. An only child, Dawson shared a special bond with his canine sibling, Dolly Mae, a black cocker spaniel. Dawson loved cars. He loved riding and especially driving his personalized 2014 Subaru Crosstrek that was one time his mom's car. His plans were to change the world through his futuristic car designs, and wanted to live in Japan.

A person who led with his heart, Dawson's empathy and hope were the cornerstones of his life. He welcomed everyone he met as a friend; his sense of humor, coupled with his quest for knowledge, inspired a lot of fun for everyone who shared his path. At a young age, he selflessly supported his mother through her chemotherapy, inspiring hope with his future plans for her, which included, living with him, having her taking care of his babies while rocking them and patting their butts. He loved taking silly selfies with his mom, he always knew that she had his back; his friends also knew that "Momma Kandace" meant business. Dawson was very clear that his parents were immensely proud of him. His signature "I know, right?" "Gwow!" and "Hay" will long inspire smiles and warm memories.

Without a doubt, Dawson's sudden departure leaves us stunned and short of breath. While it is beyond words to imagine life in the absence of his love and laughter, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories of the young man we were privileged to know. As we deeply grieve our loss, may we find courage in carrying Dawson's legacy of embracing each person and every moment as a gift forward. With every kindness we extend to another, and each moment we choose faith over fear, embrace curiosity, welcome opportunities for growth, or confidently meet life's challenges, we keep Dawson's spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.

Dawson Lute, age 17, of Kalamazoo, died on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Members of his family include his parents: Joshua Lute and Kandace Hooley-Lute; Grandparents: Vicki Hooley, Randy Hooley and Grandma Pam, Dennis Lute and Grandma Nanny, Barb Lute and Grandpa Art; Great Grandmother- Delores Mentel “Grandma Nae”; Aunts and Uncles: Justine Bishop, Isaac Hooley, Jessica Rydecki, Jodi Peppers and many great Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and special friends that deeply loved Dawson. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks and stories will be shared on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 4-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Services will be held at 1 pm on Wednesday at The Kalamazoo First Assembly of God Church, 5550 Oakland Drive. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral. Lunch will follow the service back at the funeral home in the Life Story Center. Visit Dawson’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Christian Schools.