Dawn Sheets at her memory care apartment in Hendricks County. 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,” added daughter Cathy Hiatt.

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.

This is just one of the obituaries IndyStar has written to remember Hoosiers lost to COVID-19. See them all at IndyStar.com/Coronavirus. To share the story of a loved one you’ve lost, email us: coronavirus@indystar.com.

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 passed away 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. Angel food cake and blueberry pie

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.

Sheets graduated from Warren Central High School in 1944. She met Ken in the seventh grade and they married July 27, 1945, while he was home on leave from the Navy, before he left for Japan during World War II. Photo of Ken and Dawn Sheets on their wedding day, July 27, 1945. The couple’s 74-year marriage was built on a foundation of love and companionship. When Ken attended college in the early ’60s, Dawn ran the household, sewing the children’s clothes, cooking dinner and helping Ken with his homework assignments whenever she could.

Resourcefulness was key. Growing up during the Great Depression, she learned to cook and sew out of necessity, but later in life, cooking and sewing became her passions. In addition to making her children’s clothes, she’d also create little outfits for their dolls. One of her favorite pieces was the replica Navy uniform (modeled after Ken’s Navy uniform) […]