• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Longtime educator, Betty Dozier, dies at age 88

A dedicated educator and civic leader, Betty Dozier taught students in the same classroom at Versailles Elementary where she attended first grade.

Ms. Dozier died Feb. 17 at age 88.

A 1948 graduate of Versailles High School, Dozier was a teacher and administrator in Woodford County schools for 36 years.

“A dedicated teacher, a hard worker – all the good things you were looking for,” said former schools Superintendent Joe Gormley.

Dozier spent 14 years teaching at Versailles Elementary and 22 years as director of instruction for the school district. She was inducted into the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame last September in the Class of 2018.

Whenever Gormley was interviewing someone for a job in his role as Woodford County Middle School principal in the mid-1960s, he said he always called on Dozier to join him because of her teaching background and experience.

“She never quit teaching,” said Gormley. He said she always wanted to help others learn and improve in everyday life.

“She was bound for teaching from day one,” said Gormley of Dozier. “When she left high school, she was going to Eastern (Kentucky University) and be a teacher. I do remember that.”

Weeks before a ceremony and open house on Dec. 8, 2016 celebrating a new beginning for the Versailles Elementary School building as Versailles School Apartments, Dozier talked about coming back to teach in the same classroom where she’d been a first grade student during the 1935-36 school year.

“I share that (story) with lots of people,” she told the Sun in November 2016.

Dozier visited her old classroom during the open house of the repurposed Versailles School Apartments one month later. Her classroom as a student and teacher was now a three-bedroom apartment, but Dozier said she could still take-in the view of “the town clock” atop the Woodford County Courthouse from a window in her old classroom.

An active member of the Woodford County Retired Teachers Association, Dozier was a charter member of the Woodford County Business and Professional Women’s Club and held many offices at the regional and state levels.

Assistant County Attorney Phyllis Mattingly, who joined the organization in 1982, described Dozier as a mentor to her and many other young women.

Without the encouragement and support of Dozier and other mentors like her, Mattingly said she would’ve never become president of the Kentucky Federation of Business and Professional Women, an office held by Dozier in 1996-97.

“She’s the queen bee – as far as I’m concerned – of the Professional Women’s Club,” said Gormley.

The former county judge-executive said Dozier continued volunteering with the Food Pantry for Woodford County and remained “totally dedicated to the community” until her death.

Dozier was also a devoted member of Versailles Baptist Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher for preschool-age children and later as a member of an adult ladies Sunday school class.

“Almost any activity that was an organized activity at the church – Betty would be involved,” remembered Mattingly, herself a member of

Versailles Baptist Church. She said the last time she saw Dozier was during a Valentine’s banquet at church …, “so she was always very active.”

On a personal level, Mattingly said, “(Dozier) was just a really good friend to me … a great lady,” who never forgot her teaching roots and the value of being a little stern with young people when necessary.

“She didn’t tolerate a lot of foolishness sometimes,” said Mattingly of Dozier, “but she was always really kind ...” Ms. Dozier’s obituary can be found on page 8.

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