David Dozier passed away on June 23 of Alzheimer’s complications in Dallas, where he had lived most of his life. Dianne, his wife of 60 years whom he had met when they were students together at UD, passed away unexpectedly on July 2, the day after his funeral.
“He was totally smitten with her,” said Jerry Lerner, BA ’60, who was David’s roommate their senior year at UD and, along with his wife, another St. Thomas Aquinas parishioner. The two remained lifelong friends. “We miss them both; they were very good folk.”
After receiving his bachelor’s in drama from UD, David put his love of sports storytelling to good use, beginning his professional career as a sportswriter for the Texas Catholic. He then became the classified advertising director for the Dallas Times Herald. In 1974, he and three partners formed the advertising agency DBG&H, of which Dianne was also an active part for many years. In 1984, David was honored by President Ronald Reagan at a White House ceremony for his work promoting fair housing. He started The Dozier Company, a marketing and advertising firm, with his children in 1988.
Dianne, meanwhile, committed full time to raising the couple’s four children — Debbie, Becky, Mike and Connie — before transitioning to a professional career, including work at DBG&H and St. Thomas Aquinas, where the Doziers were active members. Dianne found her professional calling at the church and had many roles throughout her 20-year career, including serving families in planning important life events such as baptisms, weddings and funerals. She retired in November 2019, leaving an indelible mark on the parish.
“Dianne knew so much about the parishioners,” said Lerner. “If you ever had a question about anyone, you would just call Dianne.”
Dianne herself was an alumna of the St. Thomas parish school, where she had often been described as “the girl most like Mary” and voted May Queen by her female classmates. While her children were at St. Thomas, she volunteered in many capacities, including serving as homeroom mother and Girl Scout leader and on many school carnival and fundraising committees. She was also an active Bishop Lynch High School parent volunteer and served on the Woodrow Wilson High School Board of Directors. She attended all of her children and grandchildren's, games, recitals and other activities.
Meanwhile, David served as an usher at the church for more than 50 years. He was the parish’s first person to receive the Bishop’s Award for Service to the Church.
“Dave took his ushering duties very seriously and did that until he couldn’t do it anymore,” said Patrick O’Hagan.
Born in Santa Clara Pueblo, David loved fishing with his father and uncles in the Santa Clara Canyon, but his greatest pastime was running: He completed more than 9,000 loops around White Rock Lake in Dallas and over 120 marathons, from White Rock/Dallas Marathons to 22 Boston Marathons, as well as the New York City, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and St. George, Utah, marathons each multiple times. He helped more than 200 individuals train and complete their first marathons. On June 27, 100 runners gathered in tribute at White Rock Lake. Dianne was an avid supporter of David’s running life, attending every one of his marathons and greeting his running group each Saturday with homemade scones in the winter and cold watermelon slices in the summer.
David also volunteered as a certified trainer at the downtown Dallas YMCA for more than a decade and was named the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Outstanding Volunteer in 1996. An avid fan of the University of Texas Longhorns and every team on which his children or grandchildren played, he was a memorable youth coach for his children’s sports teams.
“He was so proud of his four kids, who all went to UT,” said O’Hagan. “He loved the Longhorns; if you wanted to rile him up, you just had to mention the game in November 1961 where TCU beat UT with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sonny Gibbs to Buddy Iles.”
Meanwhile, Dianne, according to her family and friends, was a woman of grace, beauty and courage, a doting mother and grandmother who valued tradition and hosting family celebrations. Holidays at Dee's were always special; she still assembled Easter baskets and Christmas stockings for all, including her adult children. She liked to travel and took memorable trips with her husband, daughters and friends.
Lerner remembers David’s notable role as the narrator in UD’s production of “Our Town” when they were students, and how David nicknamed everyone, often inspiring them to nickname him in return; both slender as young men, David and Lerner were collectively referred to, affectionately, as “the needles.”
“He was a talented character,” said Lerner. “Smart, loved life, bigger than life, and had a lot of fun. He loved to be with other people and to be the center of attention. People loved him.”
David and Dianne are survived by their four children and their spouses — Debbie Hain (Steve), Becky McCall (Shawn), Mike Dozier (Kristine) and Connie Brevik (Greg) — and six grandchildren — Charlotte and Matt Hain, Cole and Ben McCall, and Anna and Ella Dozier — as well as other family.
Photos courtesy of UD Archives, Patricia O'Hagan and the Doziers' obituaries. Photos provided by Patricia O'Hagan include one of the Doziers together at a party circa 1980; one of Patrick O'Hagan, Dianne Dozier and Sybil Novinski; and one of (L to R) Patrick O'Hagan, Jerry Lerner, Dan Cruse, BA '61, David Dozier and George Kopf, BA '63, at a party in 1988. According to Patricia, "David was telling another of his funny stories!"