Dorothy Jean Mize, a revered teacher who founded the Haltom Highsteppers drill/dance team and thus became a “second mom” to hundreds of North Texas teenage girls for nearly two decades, died on February 19. She was 96.
Dorothy was born on December 8, 1924 in Fort Worth, Texas to John Buford and Mildred Johnson. She grew up and went to school in her hometown, graduating in 1942 from Fort Worth Technical High School. In the fall of 1942, she married Dale H. Hargrove, who later lost his life in 1944, during World War II.
In 1945, she enrolled at Wayland Junior College in Plainview, Texas where she earned an Associates of Arts Degree. She enrolled at Texas Wesleyan University in 1948 and graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in 1949.
In 1949, she met and married Edwin Bryan (Doug) Mize. They had children: Dee, Daryl and Donna.
Dorothy started teaching at Browning Heights Elementary School in the Birdville Independent School District in 1956, before moving to W.T. Francisco and Haltom Junior High. But it was her next teaching job that not only defined her career, but the lives of thousands of high school students – inside and outside the classroom. In 1966, while the speech teacher at Haltom High School, she was asked to start a drill team, and the Haltom Highsteppers were born. The Highsteppers won the hearts of fans – and countless awards – by mirroring Dorothy’s passion for excellence and love for life. She retired from HHS in 1985, but her Highstepper legacy lived on, culminating in a tribute to Dorothy during a 50th anniversary celebration of the team in 2016 that featured a performance by hundreds of former Highsteppers.
Dorothy was a member of Northwood Baptist Church.
After retirement, she traveled extensively with different friends and with a group from Haltom Road Baptist Church. Her travels took her to far away places including Africa, Russia, The Holy Land, Rome, India, and many others. She loved to paint, read, travel, play cards, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her grandkids.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Walter Howard Johnson; sister, Pat Parks; husbands, Dale Hargrove and Doug Mize; infant grandson, Cody Douglas; and son, Daryl Mize.
She is survived by her Son, Dee Mize (Teresa); Daughter, Donna Clegg (Rick); Grandchildren, Amy Gregory (David); Cody Cross (Karla); Chase Clegg (Krista); KaCee Mize (Nathan Pae); Dakota Mize; Great Grandchildren, Justin, Joshua, Aubrey and Courtney Gregory, Zain Hannun, Vada Cross, Easton Thomas; Brother, JB Johnson of Mexico City, and many other close family members and friends.
Her Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, March 6th at 2:00 p.m. at W. G. Thomas Coliseum, 6108 Broadway Ave., Haltom City, Texas 76117.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Dorothy Mize Haltom Highstepper Scholarship Fund. Send to North Texas Community Foundation, 777 Main Street Suite 2850, Fort Worth, Texas 76102. https://northtexascf.org/donate/
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