For a young bride from New England, moving to South Georgia in 1945 was a huge culture shock.
Pat Dozier was born and raised in New Hampshire, and her work with the phone company during World War II took her as far as Rhode Island, where she met her future husband, James Dozier. When she arrived in Montezuma in February, she was not used to the warm sunshine, and she wanted to go lie in the sun. Her mother-in-law gave her some newspapers to sit on and told her to go out to the chicken coop — and Dozier did just that!
Dozier held liberal political views and was a follower of the Catholic faith, both of which were rare types in rural South Georgia. One of her major accomplishments was as a founding member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Montezuma. Dozier was also a lifelong Democrat and part of the Peanut Brigade that traveled to New Hampshire in 1976 to campaign for Jimmy Carter as president; she also served as a delegate to two Democratic National Conventions.
Frances Mary “Pat” Kennedy Dozier, 91, of Dahlonega, formerly of Montezuma and Buford, died of complications from lung cancer on Feb. 11. A graveside service will be held at a later date in Montezuma. Dahlonega Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Her daughter Inez Harris of Big Canoe said her mother was a very progressive thinker. She owned her own insurance agency, worked as a farmer’s accountant for Southern Frozen Foods and served as mayor of Montezuma.
Several years ago, Dozier moved to North Georgia to be closer to her daughters. Harris said, “Mother called Dahlonega the No. 1 city and loved to go down to the town square on Saturday nights to listen to the music. Her enthusiasm stirred up the crowd to clap and sing along.”
Dozier’s daughter Buff Ramsey of Buford recalled that her mother started one of the very first Girl Scout troops in Macon County. In the late ’50s, Dozier was instrumental in helping consolidate school systems in the county, which caused quite a stir. “Mother was often an outcast because of her strong convictions, but she never backed down,” Ramsey said. “My dad held similar opinions, but he was much more laid-back.”
Ramsey Nix of Athens, Dozier’s granddaughter, said she learned a lot about civil rights and public education from Dozier. “She taught us that one person can change a community.” Nix also recalled that while her grandparents often disagreed about how to approach issues, Dozier taught her that conflict was often transformative and could have a positive effect in the end.
Her niece Patryc Wiggins of New Hampshire said Dozier’s courage, verve, willingness to stand up for what is right and devotion to meaningful work made them richer for knowing her.
In addition to her daughters and granddaughter, Dozier is survived by a grandson, Conor Harris of Fairplay, Colo.