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ST. JOSEPH — Dawn VanBuskirk, 52, of St. Joseph passed away at 1:25 a.m. Wednesday (July 21, 2021) at home.

Visitation will be Sunday, July 25, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Freese Funeral Home, 302 E. Grand Ave., St. Joseph. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 26, at the funeral home. Pastor Randy Boltinghouse will officiate. A visitation on Monday will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Burial will be in Gundy Cemetery, Bismark.

Dawn was born March 24, 1969, in Bismark, the daughter of Daniel L. and Linda Lou (Day) Ribbe. She married Jeff VanBuskirk on April 27, 2012, in Urbana. He survives.

She is also survived by her daughters, Abigail Rowe of Champaign and Cassidy Bagby of St. Joseph; sister, Lindsay Riesel of St. Joseph; brothers, T.J. (Lisa) Ribbe of Bismark and Daniel (Tonia) Ribbe of St. Joseph; father, Daniel (Charlotte) Ribbe of Bismark; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother and a brother, Troy Ray Ribbe.

Dawn was truly an incredible person. She had a contagious smile and laugh that would light up every room. She never met someone she didn’t invest her time into. Her whole life was dedicated to her family and acts of service for her community and others. The legacy that Dawn leaves is one that we should all emulate. One thing she always wanted others to know was that they were valuable. 

A lover of sand between her toes, sunshine on her face and the company of loved ones, living everyday as if it was paradise. She was a true businesswoman who excelled at anything she put her mind to. She loved her careers, which were all diverse forms of hospitality. Every peer and client she ever worked with soon became her friend. We joked as a family that everywhere we went, she knew someone. She was an inspiration that always pushed others to achieve their goals standing proud of their accomplishments. 

A pool at her house was a necessity; temperature above 85 degrees, no splashing the ladies, don’t push her off her raft and, seriously, everyone was invited! She loved her murder-mystery books, even though the author couldn’t keep up with her. We never went on a car trip without her perfectly organized stack of newspapers. Being an avid booty-shaker, dining-and-wining and rock star she was, if you ever hear the song "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot, you should shake it for her.

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