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Epilogue | Dawn Weinman

Dawn Weinman touched lives at Shorecrest Preparatory, St. Paul's Catholic

ST. PETERSBURG — Two months ago, Dawn Weinman started her 34th year at Shorecrest Preparatory School as she always had — with plans, schedules and smiles for a new wave of students.

Mrs. Weinman had spent a career at Shorecrest and helped usher the school into the computer age. She had devoted a similar laserlike focus to St. Paul's Catholic Church.

A late-stage cancer diagnosis four weeks ago changed everything.

Mrs. Weinman, considered a model of composure and perfectionism by colleagues, died Oct. 22 at St. Anthony's Hospital. She was 57.

She had moved from a third-grade teacher to a technology teacher and curriculum dean. For the past three years, she served as assistant head of the school's lower division, which covers kindergarten through fourth grade.

"She worked on things until they were just right," Lisa Bianco, who heads the lower division, wrote Shorecrest families in an e-mail.

Over the years, Mrs. Weinman influenced thousands of students. She helped usher in computers, then iPads and smart boards to the classroom and trained teachers how to use them.

"She was classy in her appearance and demeanor," said Shore­crest spokeswoman Diana Whittle.

At St. Paul's, she participated in multiple ministries for more than 30 years, serving food to the homeless and on the church's stewardship council.

"She had done it all so quietly, so humbly, so under-the-radar," Monsignor Robert Gibbons said at her funeral service Monday. Mrs. Weinman converted to Catholicism nine years ago.

Dawn Knauf was born in Binghamton, N.Y., in 1954. She met Michael Weinman at State University of New York Geneseo and married him in 1983. She later returned to school, earning a masters in education from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Mrs. Weinman seemed in perfect health, even after she thought she had strained a muscle doing crunches.

Instead, doctors diagnosed advanced pancreatic cancer.

The family hoped for several months more, perhaps time for an experimental treatment to run its course.

Mrs. Weinman tried to buoy her family's spirits from her hospital bed.

"She had a great sense of humor to the last days," said Michael Weinman, 57. "Rolling her eyes at us, teasing us. Little things."

Nearly 500 people attended her service Monday, including current and former students at Shorecrest, which closed its doors for the day.

The school made no formal announcement about Mrs. Weinman's death, leaving those decisions to families, Whittle said.

"For the ones who were old enough to understand, it was a very sad day for our community," she said.


Dawn Michelle Knauf Weinman

Born: Oct. 30, 1954

Died: Oct. 22, 2012

Survivors: husband, Michael Weinman; daughters, Chelsea Zamora and Hannah Weinman; and brothers, Richard and Edward Knauf.

Dawn Weinman touched lives at Shorecrest Preparatory, St. Paul's Catholic 11/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012 9:32pm]
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