On Monday I was present for a holy moment—my grandfather Harold S. Dozier, who we all call “Bepa,” entered the Lord’s presence as we held his hand and he breathed his last. From the day I was born, Bepa and I were as close as any grandfather/grandson could be. He was more than a grandfather to me…he was a father figure for many years when my biological father was absent. Though I will always treasure my childhood memories of riding with him to school, visiting his work, staying at his home, going fishing, throwing the football, and countless other shared activities; our best moments were in my adult life as we had lunch together weekly for many years and dug deep into discussions about life, knowledge, and faith.
Bepa was an avid reader and he loved studying the Bible—especially as he could relate it to his two passions of history and science. Without question Bepa was probably the most faithful reader of everything I’ve ever written including the things I’ve written on this site. This post on Stephen Hawking from a few years ago came after one of our legendary discussions about faith and science. Just a few months ago, he gave me a detailed analysis of my article that was published in Newsweek. I’ll miss Bepa in every way and I’m certain my future contributions to the world will be hindered without having his insights readily available.
Below is Beep’s obituary which only captures a small amount of the great man that he was.
Harold Sigfred Dozier was born February 17, 1930 in Monroe, LA to Louis J. Dozier and Helen (Teegerstrom) Dozier. He passed away peacefully with his wife and other beloved family by his side on November 29, 2021.
As a child Harold’s family moved to Sayre, OK and eventually to Odessa, TX. It was at Odessa High School that Harold would have two of the most important experiences of his life. First was meeting the love of his life Teresia Barnes. Second was playing defensive end and kicker for the Odessa High football team which won the Texas State Championship in 1946. This team, quarterbacked by legendary player and coach Hayden Fry, remains one of the most famous Texas high school football teams of all time.
After high school, Harold worked in the oil field and in a carbon plant while continuing to date Teresia. Harold and Teresia were married at First Baptist Church Odessa on August 17, 1950. Soon after, Harold would join the Air Force where he served from 1951-1955 providing key support for operations during the Korean War.
While serving in Biloxi, MS, Harold and Teresia welcomed their first daughter, Terri Leigh on July 24, 1953. After Harold’s military discharge the family moved to Oklahoma City, OK, where he worked for Black, Sivalls, and Bryson. It was also in OKC that they welcomed their second daughter Cyndee Suzanne on August, 10, 1958.
The family moved to Tulsa in 1960 where Harold finished his college degree at the University of Tulsa with a B.S. in Business Administration. In 1968, he began working as a computer engineer at Seiscor, a division of Seismograph Services Corporation, where he would finish his career. He retired as a vice-president in 1987 where he was leading a team of more than 200 people at the time.
Over the years Harold and Teresia welcomed 5 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, all of whom call him “Bepa.” In fact, for the last 40+ years of his life he was better known to all as Bepa rather than Harold. Harold treasured all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and every single one of them knew it. He spent lots of time with all of them and taught them about many things. He loved to “tinker” with vehicles, machines, appliances, and electronics, and his family often described him as “the man who could fix anything.”
After his retirement, Harold and Teresia spent lots of time at their house on Lake Tenkiller, which was a favorite getaway for the whole family for many years to relax, fish, ride on the boats, and waterski. They also enjoyed spending summers in Winter Park, CO, as well as traveling to Sweden to meet distant relatives.
Among Harold’s hobbies were fishing, computers, genealogy, reading, and connecting to people all over the world through his ham radio as call sign N5JKE. He also loved horses and cheering on his Golden Hurricane basketball team. Among his many great qualities, Harold will always be remembered for his love for people and his intentional acts of welcome and kindness to family, friends, friends of family, friends of friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
Harold was baptized as a young man and grew deep in his faith throughout his life. He loved studying the Bible, particularly as he could connect it to his love for history and science. He was an active member of churches in every place he lived, with his longest membership being at First Baptist Church of Tulsa in downtown where he volunteered at the Caring Center and supported the homeless men’s Bible study. For the last 5 years of his life, he was a member of South Tulsa Baptist Church.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Helen, and his siblings William Bryce Dozier, Helen Louise Peterson, and Beverly L. Johnson and his son-in-law Tom Johnson.
Harold is survived by his loving wife of 71 years Teresia; his daughters Terri Clayton and her husband Bill, and Cyndee Johnson; his grandchildren Eric Costanzo and his wife Rebecca, Kyndell McElwee, Taylor Johnson, Kaycee Johnson, and Kyle Clayton and his wife Addie, Jennifer McGuire and her husband Cameron; and his great-grandchildren Adin, Noah, Abigail, Kynzleigh, Jaxon, Gavin, Payton, Ruby, Isla, Nick, Allison, and Dylan; and his sister-in-law Clarice Bell and her husband Phil. Harold also had many beloved aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Funeral Service for Harold will be on Friday, December 3rd, at 10:00am at South Tulsa Baptist Church – 10130 S. Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, 74133. Livestream will be available at http://southtulsa.live.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harold’s name to John 3:16 Mission at http://donate.john316mission.org.
6 thoughts on “Remembering my Beloved Grandfather Harold S. Dozier”
What a wonderful tribute to your granddad! You were very blessed to have him as such an integral part of your life. And, speaking as a granddad, he too was very blessed to have you in such a close relationship. This is a tough one, praying that God will carry you through.
From: Eric | Costanzo
Reply-To: Eric | Costanzo
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 3:06 PM
To: Philip Stephens
Subject: [New post] Remembering my Beloved Grandfather Harold S. Dozier
Eric Costanzo posted: ” On Monday I was present for a holy moment—my grandfather Harold S. Dozier, who we all call “Bepa,” entered the Lord’s presence as we held his hand and he breathed his last. From the day I was born, Bepa and I were as close as any grandfather/grandson cou”
Thank you for sharing. It was a great joy for me to see the relationship God blessed you, my oldest son, and my dad with.
This is a wonderful tribute to your grandfather. What a blessing to have his love and wisdom in your life for so many years! Steve and I are praying for your family in this time of loss.
How wonderfully you captured not only the salient qualities that made Harold special but you put the imprint of your deep love for him on what you wrote. Grateful the Lord put such a man in your life and that you got to enjoy him over the years. We are continuing to uphold you in prayer as you prepare to lead the celebration of his life this Friday.
So sorry to learn you have lost your beloved grandfather. It was apparent how proud he was of you as you and your family joined your grandparents in the pew at First Baptist. The memories you shared are yours forever. Prayers for you and your family. Nina Blumer
Such a beautiful remberance of your precious “Bepa”. He was such a light to everyone he met. I adored both he and Teresita. I always remember his kindness and joy in the Lord.
He adored you and well so. You follow his love of God and inspiration.
He will be sorely missed.
Love, Sunnie Hall