5th Annual Dei Gratia Award Winners Announced

September 01, 2019

Yaz and Rosie Daw, children of immigrants, shared a life of hard work, devotion, and faith, but their American Dream really started generations ago with their grandparents who braved the journey from Lebanon in the 1890's.

Yazbik Wade Daw was born on May 18, 1929 in Mesa, Arizona to Wade Yazbik Daw and Emilie Karam, who came to El Paso through Juárez, Mexico. Yaz's father, Wade, was born in El Paso and returned to Lebanon with his parents where he remained until he was 21 years old. He and Emilie were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Segundo Barrio, which at the time was the heart of the city. Yaz and his siblings, Jimmie Daw, Essie Ayoub, and Madeline Jabor, learned Arabic from their parents and spoke it fluently. Wade spoke English and Arabic and Emilie would eventually learn some English and Spanish but Arabic was what was always spoken at home. They were loving, dedicated parents.

Rosalie Duchay Daw was born in El Paso on November 17, 1933. Her mother, Mabel Nabhan, was born in 1909 in South El Paso in the living quarters behind the grocery store Mabel's father owned. Fate would bring Rosie’s father to El Paso. At the age of 12 and living in Salima, Lebanon, Rosie's father, Richard, went with a group to see loved ones and travelers heading off to New York City where Richard’s brother had emigrated in 1910, but one of the boys who was supposed to go got a nose bleed and Richard took his place. After that, Richard never saw his mother or father again. When Richard came to visit a cousin in El Paso he met his future wife, Mabel. They were married in 1933 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in downtown El Paso. Both Yaz and Rosie's parents were devout Maronite Catholics, an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope.

Yaz and Rosie met at one of the many Lebanese American gatherings their families attended and fell deeply in love very early on. Yaz was a graduate of Austin High School and Rosie graduated from Ysleta High School. They would both go on to attend Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso. Rosie was 18 and Yaz was 22 when they were married by Monsignor William Ryan at St. Joseph Catholic Church. It was Monsignor Ryan who would pick up Rosie and her Ysleta High School freshmen classmates to take them all to the Newman Club for meetings and gatherings while he was serving as a priest at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. When Yaz and Rosie got married, she dreamed about having 12 children and she came pretty close. God would bless them with a large family of nine children. Wade was the first born followed by his best buddy and brother Richard, who was born on Easter Sunday. Daughters Linda, Laura, and Patricia followed and then came Mark, Mary “Deanie”, Gregory, and the baby, Teresa.

Yaz and Rosie were thrilled with their growing family and Yaz focused on work and being a good provider. Rosie says they got up each day, did not stop until it was time for bed, and started the process all over again the next day. Yaz was the founder and owner of DAW'S Home Furnishings and Thomasville of El Paso, which had grown out of the original S.O.S. TV and Appliance Company. He served the City of El Paso in some way, shape, or form for 61 years and Rosie was always at his side. Inspired by Monsignor Francis J. Smith, they considered themselves blessed to be involved in church activities, functions, and community organizations. Yaz was a founding member of the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso and served on several diocesan boards, including Priest Retirement, Education, and Finance. Many churches counted on Yaz to supply cardboard for their bazaar booths and he was always happy to oblige. He served the University of Texas at El Paso as a participant in the Miner Foundation, the Touchdown Club, and several university development campaigns. Yaz and Rosie were recognized as Grandparents of the Year by the City of El Paso and he was a recipient of the Catholic Diocese Seed Award. Rosie started the Little Flower Catholic Church choir at the age of 14 and has been singing in church choirs ever since. In the years that Rosie was raising children, she was totally devoted to her family and stayed busy with the Home and School Association at St. Joseph’s School where all of her children went to elementary and middle school. Yaz had been a Knight of Columbus since the age of 18 and he and Rosie were inducted into the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a global organization of the Catholic Church to help preserve the Catholic faith in the Holy Land. Rosie says, “Yaz and I had the same values, which made life easier. We both loved our Catholic faith and tried to raise our children to put God and family above all else. God has blessed us abundantly.”

Faith, family, and food are central themes of Yaz and Rosie's life. Rosie learned to cook from her mother, Mabel, who learned from her mother a style of cooking from a village in Lebanon called Zahle, an area known for its good food. Her mother-in-law, Emilie, also taught her delicious recipes. Rosie’s mother would learn to cook most of the traditional Mexican food enjoyed in El Paso and passed it down to her daughter. Cooking is such a big part of Rosie’s life that she has a commercial mixer and an extra oven in her garage. To this day, Rosie regularly prepares meals for her children and grandchildren and makes special deliveries to them. She keeps in touch daily with her precious seven living children and their spouses, 31 living grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren at family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, and through social media, text messaging, and treasured phone calls. Rosie is happiest with a house full of family with children all around her and babies on her lap!

When the Daws speak of family, they always refer to the living and to those who have gone to eternal life. Yaz, who passed away on September 10, 2011, is greatly missed and regarded with respect and affinity by everyone. Richard, who was born on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1954, attended Adoration on Good Friday the weekend he died at the age of 12, just three weeks before his 13th birthday. He would leave this world on Holy Saturday. Linda Daw Hudson was a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and a beloved and active member of the community. Linda died of cancer on December 19, 2010. Grandson Matthew Hicks lost a valiant battle with cancer at the age of 15 on December 11, 2007. A church in Juárez, México, built for and by Siguiendo Los Pasos de Jesús (SPJ) community members is named San Mateo Catholic Church in loving memory of Matthew. A playground for the SPJ community was built and dedicated in honor of Linda by her loving husband and children. Additionally, several SPJ homes have been built in the Juárez colonias in memory of Yaz. 

Pictured top to bottom, left to right: Wade, Greg, and Mark Daw; Linda Daw Hudson, Laura Daw Boggs, and Patti Daw Yetter; Teresa Daw Hicks, Rosalie, Yazbik, and Mary "Deanie" Daw Quinn

Rosie describes their life together with a story. One day their housekeeper said to Rosie, “I notice that you and the 'Señor' never argue”.  When Rosie shared this with Yaz, he said, “Tell her we don't have time."  

Yazbik† and Rosalie Daw will be honored with the 5th Annual Dei Gratia Award at the 13th Annual Foundation of Faith Dinner on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at the El Paso Convention Center. 

The Dei Gratia Award, Latin for “By the Grace of God”, recognizes an individual, couple, or organization for their servant leadership, outstanding contribution to the Diocese of El Paso and our Catholic community, and their dedication to being good stewards of God’s grace.

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