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Dawn Marie Drell, 54



Dawn Marie Drell –  A Life Well Lived. Born August 8, 1961, died May 24, 2016. Beloved mother to Isabelle, wife to Michael, daughter to Lin, sibling to Robert and Robin.

Dawn graduated High School in Sag Harbor NY in 1979. She had a job as a dock master at a local marina. Seeing yachts traveling around the world piqued her interest. She left with a friend in a VW bug and got to Fort Lauderdale, where she landed a job as a stewardess on a 140’ Feadship. She said she saw the world through a porthole.

Dawn and Michael met and fell in love in 1983. They spent seven wonderful years as crew on sail and power yachts. They travelled from Penobscot Bay to Antigua; Copenhagen to Sardinia, and spent a winter in the Mediterranean; mostly in the Balearic Islands. Dawn managed to work in a summer of culinary school at Peter Kumps in NYC. Vacations were in St. Barts, Greece, Kenya; and a three month sojourn across the U.S.  She saw loggerhead turtles in the Sargasso Sea, the southern cross in the tropics, cheetahs in Kenya, Monet’s garden in France and Orcas in the Irish Sea.

They landed ashore in Miami and spent four years there.  Got married, moved to Wilmington, had a daughter, and moved to Davidson.

Dawn was an amazing woman. She was kind, noble, passionate, and caring. A life-long student of the things that interested her:  she was an avid reader, gardener, artist, loving mother and chef extraordinaire. She had a marvelous eclectic education  that was mostly self- taught. She was an amazing chef and often got standing ovations from yacht guests who were amazed at the caliber of her food. Her favorite restaurants were the Texas Pit BBQ on the quay in St. Thomas; Au Port in St. Barths, Tom Moore’s Tavern in Bermuda and a two star Michelin restaurant in Aix-a medieval village in Provence, near Antibes.

She loved food, and even more loved for people to enjoy it. She used whatever local ingredients were available.  One of her culinary masterpieces was Coq-au-Vin created in the galley of a 44’ Swan, in a strong gale with 8-10 foot seas. The crew was very happy.

One of the reasons she was so well loved was that she deeply cared about wanting people in her charge to feel included and cared for. That was the same for the line cooks and dishwashers in the professional kitchens she worked in to yacht owners and their guests. Many times she spent her own money to get a small gift for someone on her team as a token of her appreciation for their efforts. Not surprising,  that she was very well loved.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm in the chapel of Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home, Huntersville, NC.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted in a scholarship in her honor to provide support for students seeking a culinary education:

Sag Harbor UFSD.  (Drell Scholarship in the memo) 200 Jermain Ave. Sag Harbor NY 11963

or Hospice and Palliative Care of Lake Norman, 705 Griffin Street , Davidson, NC 28036.

Friends may offer condolences to the family at www.raymerfh.com.