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Howdy Doody puppet creator dies

Michelle Mitchell • The Desert Sun • September 26, 2007

The creator of Howdy Doody passed away early this morning, according to the Riverside County Coroner.

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Velma Wayne Dawson, 94, of Palm Desert was found unresponsive on her bed around 3:30 a.m. by a friend checking in on her. There was no trauma, the coroner reported.

Dawson created the "Howdy Doody" marionettes in 1948 and continued to build them until the show ended in 1960.

She was recently honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Pacific Southwest Chapter for 50 years in TV.

Dawson was active in the valley as a benefactor to College of the Desert and has a spot on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

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