Tuesday, February 13, 2007

OBT: Bill Dozier

Bill Dozier was indeed the finest of gentlemen, his wife a remarkable lady. I had the high pleasure of knowing his daughter and coaching his grandsons. Wonderful people all. Sad to see him go.

Former Times owner remembered as a gentleman
By Alison Beshur, The Daily Times, Published February 13, 2007

William E. Dozier Jr., former owner of the Kerrville Daily Times, was generous, a gentleman and a career newspaperman.

He died Monday at the age of 84.

Dozier started his career as a printer’s apprentice in the mid-1930s at his hometown newspaper in Delhi, La., according to a Texas Press Association biography. Two years later he became the newspaper’s editor, the youngest in the state’s history.

He graduated cum laude from Louisiana Tech and later joined the U.S. Navy as a communications officer during the World War II. Then, he worked for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and rose up the ranks to state editor of community correspondents, according to the TPA, which awarded him the Golden 50 Award in 1987.

After serving in Korea in the early 1950s, he became editor of the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph.

In 1964, Dozier and his wife, Eleanor, bought The Kerrville Daily Times, where he was editor, publisher and columnist until the newspaper sold in 1988 and Dozier retired. During those years, the couple had purchased other Hill Country newspapers, including the Pearsall Leader, Cotulla Record, Dilley Herald, Boerne Star, Bandera Bulletin and the Real County American, according to the TPA.

“My father believed in service, to his family, his church, his work and his community,” said Dozier’s daughter, Rebecca Dozier. “He did it quietly, acting from an unshakeable faith in God and the goodness in others.

“I have never known another man who worked such long hours, served on so many committees or donated to so many projects,” she continued. “He was a rare breed, whose infectious smile and far-seeing intellect was a gift to everyone privileged to know him.”

Long before he moved to Kerrville in 1995, Greg Shrader, editor and publisher of The Times, knew and admired Dozier for investing his time and money in his community.

“He was a much-respected member of the press and the Texas newspaper industry,” Shrader said. “Mr. Dozier was a fine example of how a newspaper publisher can serve the community. ... He cared about Kerrville and Kerr County.”

Shrader said Dozier’s column, “The Hilltopper,” served as a testament to his love for the Hill Country. Dozier never stopped being a newspaper man.

“He continued to offer me his advice until shortly before his death,” Shrader said.

Joseph Benham, columnist for The Times, remembered Dozier as polite and patient, a generous contributor to his community and a distinguished journalist.

In the 1980s, Benham considered buying the Mountain Sun. When he realized he would be competing with William Dozier of The Times, he decided not to.

“That’s like a minor leaguer trying to compete with the New York Yankees,” Benham said. “I respected him so much as a newspaper man that there’s no way I was going to try to compete.”

Dozier was a great supporter of the Nimitz Museum in Frederickburg, the Symphony of the Hills, First United Methodist Church, Schreiner University and many more worthy causes, Benham said.

He also backed school bonds.

“He supported progress,” Benham said. “He wanted good schools and medical facilities and just about anything that made this a better area.”

The tall, slender, well-dressed man always seemed attentive to his wife.

“He carried himself well,” Benham said. “He looked like a southern gentleman.”

Services will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church with burial following at Garden of Memories. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Grimes Funeral Chapel.

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