Margaret Dawes dead at 54

'Poogie' was a longtime volunteer and philanthropist

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— Steamboat Springs philanthropist and civic volunteer Margaret "Poogie" Dawes, 54, was found dead at her home Friday afternoon.

The death is under investigation, but Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said foul play is not suspected. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg ordered an autopsy that will be performed today or Monday at the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.

Dawes' husband, Steve, found his wife at their home on Redwoods Drive and called 911. Rae said the call was at about 3:40 p.m.

The Daweses have two teenage sons, Jeff and Matt.

"Steve and Poogie quietly go about making this community a better place," family friend John Kerst said. "So many will miss her so much. She was involved. She cared. She cared enough to make a difference."

One of Dawes' sisters gave her the nickname "Poogie" after a character in a children's book. "No one calls me Mrs. Dawes," she once told a reporter. "I prefer 'Poogie.' The children and adults are more comfortable with it."

A native of New Jersey, Poogie moved to Steamboat in 1974 after graduating from the University of Arizona. She and Steve met and married in Steamboat.

Throughout the years, the Daweses have been involved in numerous philanthropic efforts, both as donors and fundraisers. They helped raise funds for Yampa Valley Medical Center and for the expansion of Howelsen Ice Arena.

A self-proclaimed "hockey mom," Dawes volunteered countless hours for the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association. She also was a longtime volunteer in the school district.

"Poogie touched a lot of people's lives in this community," Kerst said. "My heart and my love go out to Steve and their boys."

Information about services was not available Friday.

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