She was born April 27, 1937, in Red Lion, Penn., to the late Henry Franklin Burg and Grace Viola Flaherty Burg.
Dawn graduated from Red Lion High School in 1955. Her junior and senior years she was baton twirling champion for the state of Pennsylvania, won the national championship, and led the inaugural parade for the governor her senior year.
She attended Gettysburg College on a baton twirling scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1959. She married Stanton Richard Musser later that year, and they lived in numerous locations before moving to Blacksburg in 1998 when he became Commandant of the Cadet Corps at Virginia Tech.
Dawn’s career is closely related to the many moves (22) she made with her husband during his U.S Air Force career, living in 10 states and two foreign countries. Depending on where they lived, her life and career was a combination of teaching physical education in the public schools, teaching baton twirling, being a homemaker, taking leadership roles in many officers’ wives clubs, hosting functions required of an officer, various jobs with the Heart Association,. and many other volunteer jobs.
In her daily prayers, she thanked God for the many blessings she had received that had provided her with such a wonderful life that included two loving husbands and family, and numerous caring friends. After her first husband Stan, died in 2012, she was adamant that she would never marry again, but God had other plans. He arranged for Dick Arnold and her to meet, and they were married in 2016 and had a wonderful life together. They often praised God for placing them together in the winter of their lives. She had a strong faith, nurtured through active participation in the Blacksburg United Methodist Church. In the community, she was a member of the Blacksburg Country Club, the Blacksburg Sports Club, and at Virginia Tech she was a member of the Ut Prosim Society and the Hokie Club, and was a longtime advisor to Delta Gamma Sorority.
She loved to travel, especially in the family’s RV and on cruises, being a homemaker, attending Virginia Tech athletic events, theater, and concerts. She lived life fully.
Dawn is survived by her second husband, Richard M. Arnold of Blacksburg; her son Scott (Janeal) Musser of Niceville, Fla., and daughter Shari (Greg) Jones of Spring, Texas, sisters Alta (John) Richardson and Joyce Melhorn; a brother Earl (Dawn) Burg; grandsons Cole and Clay Jones, Sean (Star), Ryan, Alec, and Bret (Tiffany) Musser; great-grandchildren Briar, Arya, and Eowyn Musser; stepchildren Brad (Irena) Arnold, Sharon (Greg) Johnston, Stephanie Arnold Hern; step-grandchildren Emily (Kris) Koch, Eliza (Jonathan) Blum, Allyson, Will and Sarah Hern, Cezar Cozianu and Alex Arnold; step-great-grandchildren James and Ellie Koch; and stepsisters Janet Arnold Kirk and Karen Arnold Jaworski.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her late husband Major General Stanton Musser, and a daughter Kristin Musser Asbury.
The family would like to thank Drs. Keating, Thompson, and Strati and their staffs at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the staff of Good Samaritan Hospice for the kind and loving care given to Dawn. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe St., Houston, TX 77030, or Blacksburg United Methodist Church, 111 Church St., Blacksburg, VA 24060.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. at Blacksburg United Methodist Church, followed by a reception. Burial will be at a later date to be determined at Arlington National Cemetery.