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Dawn Sheets never hesitated to help a friend in need.
Sheets, a lifelong florist, had no formal medical training, but when her friend Maxine Hessong needed kidney dialysis treatment, Sheets taught herself how to operate a dialysis machine so Hessong’s husband Dale could continue working.
For more than a year, Sheets made three to four trips a week to Methodist Hospital to care for her friend, offering support and companionship during Hessong’s procedures. Eventually Hessong came home, and Sheets continued to run her machine, even showing Dale the necessary steps in the process.
“She cared about people,” daughter Lori Arment said. “She cared about people’s feelings and their well being.”
“That’s one of the highlights of her life to be able to help in that way at that time,” daughter Cathy Hiatt said.
Helping others, faith and family were the pillars of Sheets’ life. Her compassion was matched by her late husband Ken’s, who became her primary caretaker as she dealt with dementia until he died in December.
In early April, Dawn Sheets developed a cough and began running a temperature. She had a COVID-19 test on April 10. On April 13 the test came back positive for COVID-19. She died April 16 at a memory care facility in Hendricks County.
“When people think of Mom, they always think of Dad, too,” daughter Dianne Boyd said. “It was always Ken and Dawn, and Dawn and Ken because they did everything together. They complemented each other, they were supportive of each other.”
Dawn is survived by daughters Cathy, Dianne and Lori Arment, and six grandsons. She is preceded in death by her husband Ken and daughter Deborah Sheets.
Dawn Sheets (Steele) was born May 12, 1926, in Bainbridge. Her family moved to Indianapolis when she was five, settling on the east side of the city.