Hope McKemie Dozier, 85, of Gainesville, Georgia died on Thursday, August 1 from a sudden illness. Hope was born on April 24, 1934 in Albany, Georgia. After graduating early from Albany High School, Hope attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Returning back to her home state, Hope graduated from the University of Georgia where she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority. With a degree in education, she taught in the Dougherty County School System for nearly 30 years.
Hope is preceded in death by her parents, Howard Marvin McKemie, MD, and Hope Horner McKemie.
She is survived by sibling and dearest friend, Sandra McKemie Reese of Albany, GA; Her children that she loved whole-heartedly: Son, Richard Douglas Dozier, Jr. (Nancy) of Macon, GA, and Daughter, McKemie Dozier West (Tim) of Gainesville, GA. Grandchildren that she adored: Dahl Dozier Hartley (Lee) of Macon, GA; Thomas Lawler West of Gainesville, GA; Hope West Mann (Aaron) of Portland, MA; Richard Douglas Dozier, III (Chelsea) of Macon, GA; and Great Granddaughter, Oakleigh Grace Mann of Portland, MA. Nephews that she was so proud of and loved so much: John Reese (Mary) of Albany, GA; Mack Reese (Holly) of Lagrange, GA; Frank Reese (Loulie) of Atlanta, GA.
Though she served as an educator for many years, Hope had several other trades. She acquired a real estate license, took jewelry making classes, worked for a pool company, and even took exams to prepare for a career as a postal carrier (never happened). Hope, nicknamed Bigger Hope by grandson, Lawler, and Bop by granddaughter, Dahl, was known for her broad beautiful smile, her Southern drawl, brutal honesty, originality, passion for learning and generosity. Upon retirement, she moved to St. Simons Island where she continued a life of adventures. In 2007, she moved to Gainesville to be near family.
For Hope, family was everything. Her sister, Sandra, was her best friend and they shared and weathered many of life's ups and downs together. Her children and grandchildren were her life, her light. Through her caring for them, she defined the true meaning of unconditional love - giving generously in every capacity. Just over three years ago, her granddaughter, Oakleigh, was born and became the brightest light of her life, her shining star.
Hope forged through life forming many long-lasting friendships. With cousin Mac McKemie and wife, Joanne, they formed a fun threesome who enjoyed many adventures and many laughs. With friends, Mariellen Bateman and Nancy Carter, an antique business was created, and they traveled to London 13 years in a row buying the things they loved from across the English countryside. With fellow teachers, she'd hit the road after class for a quick trip down to the gulf coast for fried shrimp, and back in the same day! She loved new experiences, the mountains, bargain shopping, chocolate and her dog, Puddin'. Later in life, caretakers became friends and she was forever grateful for their attention to her - Teresa, Destiny, Tammy, Jill, Allie, Whitney, Cathy, Tonya - and the staff at Gardens of Gainesville.
With Hope, you knew where you stood. For many of us, she was the most genuine person you'll ever know. She was personality, full force, and quick witted. She was smart, well-read and more than a bit sassy. She made an impact on so many and will always be remembered, uniquely, as The Bigger Hope.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church in Albany, Georgia on Tuesday, August 6 with visitation (10 a.m.) followed by a service at 11:00 a.m. Another memorial celebration will be held at First United Methodist Church in Gainesville in early September. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the The Partnership for a Drug Free Hall, a program of CenterPoint, 1050 Elephant Way, Gainesville, GA 30501. www.centerpoint.ga/give/
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.