William Everett Dozier, Jr. dies

Monday, 12 March 2007

William Everett Dozier, Jr., president of Texas Press Association in 1979-80, died Feb. 12, 2007, from complications of pneumonia. He was 84.

Dozier was editor and publisher of the Kerrville Daily Times when he served as TPA’s president during the association’s 100th anniversary.

Born in Delhi, La., on June 12, 1922, to William E. and Harriet Miles Dozier, he was hired at age 13 as a “printer’s devil” and sports reporter by his local newspaper the Delhi (La.) Dispatch. Two years later he became its editor, the youngest in the state’s history.

Dozier graduated cum laude in journalism from Louisiana Tech University in 1943. He had been president of his junior class and the student senate, sports editor for both the student newspaper and yearbook, president of Gamma Epsilon honor society, secretary and treasurer of Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity. He was named to Who ’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in 1942 and 1943. His alma mater honored him in 1991 with its Tower Medallion Award for Service and in 1994 named him one of its 100 distinguished graduates of the university ’s first century.

During World War II, Dozier served in the Pacific as a radar interpretive officer on the U.S.S. Murray, participating in the capture of a Japanese hospital ship and a nighttime mission onto Japanese soil just below Tokyo Harbor. He returned to active duty from 1950-52, during the Korean War as an assistant Eighth Naval District public information officer and served in the Navy Reserves until his retirement as a commander.

His interest in preserving World War II history was key to his service as a director of the Admiral Nimitz Museum Foundation for more than 25 years, where he still was an honorary trustee.

Dozier married his college sweetheart, Eleanor Ruth Roye, of West Monroe, La., in 1944, and they had two daughters, Carolyn Dozier Hunnicutt, deceased, and Rebecca Dozier, wife of Angelo Di Berardino, who lives in Austin and Italy.

After the war, the Doziers moved to New Orleans, where he joined the Times Picayune in 1946 as a reporter and later state editor, when the newspaper still used passenger pigeons to receive messages from state correspondents and sports writers.

Dozier became editor of the Tyler Courier-Times and Morning Telegraph in 1952, also writing the Rose City Rambler column, until 1965. That year he, his wife and investors purchased the Kerrville Daily Times, where he served as editor and publisher until the newspaper sold in 1988. He continued writing his column, The Hilltopper, until recently.

The Doziers created Frio-Nueces Publications Ltd. and Hills O’ Texas Publications Inc., which between 1976 and 1999 published weekly newspapers in Pearsall, Dilley, Cotulla, Bandera, Boerne and Leakey.

Dozier served on the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Texas Daily Newspaper Association (director 1984-87), Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (director 1984-87, chairman Smaller Newspapers Committee, 1983), Texas Newspaper Foundation (president 1982-92), and Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association (president 1964-65).

He was honored by his colleagues with the 1986 TDNA Pat Taggart Award as Texas Newspaper Leader of the Year, the TPA Golden 50 Award in 1987, and the George Washington Honor Medal for Editorial Writing in 1963.

A lifetime Methodist, Dozier served the boards of Marvin Methodist Church in Tyler, and First United Methodist Church in Kerrville. Other associations included Peterson Memorial Hospital; Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair; West Texas and Kerr chambers of commerce; Texas State Chamber of Commerce; Tyler YMCA; The Salvation Army; Kiwanis Clubs; and Kerrville Economic Development Foundation.

 He was named Man of the Year in 1984 by Schreiner College, where he was a member of the Schreiner Oaks, a trustee from 1987-96 and 1997-2006, and an honorary lifetime trustee.