STAR Republican Women honor Dorothy Crockett

Special to the Highlander

For many years, Horseshoe Bay resident Dorothy Crockett has chronicled the comings and goings of her neighbors as part of her "Horseshoe Bay Happenings" column for The Highlander every Friday.

What many people may not realize, however, is Crockett helped found the Texas Federation of Republican Women in 1955 as well as the predecessor club to the Star Republican Women of Llano County in 1975.

This Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Star Republican Women will pay special tribute to Dorothy Crockett at their annual meeting, to be held at 12:30 p.m. at Quail Point Lodge.

The group will also honors its past presidents at the meeting, which will be held the second Tuesday of the month instead of the club's regular third Tuesday due to its proximity to Thanksgiving and the format will be different than regular general meetings as well.

The program will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Attendees will be seated at tables to enjoy a complimentary light lunch and dessert. There is no cost to the luncheon; however, reservations are requested by email to SRW’s VP of Programs Denise Rives at mimirives@gmail.com.

Crockett is well known in the Hill Country. Many have enjoyed her column about Horseshoe Bay activities that appears in The Highlander newspaper. Others have benefited from her community service and support of the Church of Horseshoe Bay.

Republicans in the Hill Country and in West Texas regard Dorothy Crockett as a pioneer for the GOP, particularly in the “early days” when many Texans who espoused the conservative principles near and dear to Dorothy’s heart were known as conservative Democrats.

Through her leadership and tenacity, Dorothy helped others of similar beliefs to recognize that the Republican Party would better serve their needs.

Born in Denton, Texas, in 1924, Dorothy enjoyed an early start in politics as her father Theron Fouts served as head football coach and later Dean of Men at what is now known as The University of North Texas. Her mother actively participated in Republican women’s groups.

They both taught Dorothy and her two siblings conservative principles and the importance of civic responsibility.

Dorothy married Frank Crockett in 1946, and for more than six decades they partnered in their pursuit of defending and promoting the conservative principles of the Republican Party.

The Crocketts lived in Odessa before moving to Horseshoe Bay. In 1960, Dorothy helped found the Odessa Republican Women’s Club and later served as its president in 1966. Today, Ector County Republican Women’s Club is one of the most successful among the federated member clubs of TFRW.

When the Crocketts moved their family of three children to Horseshoe Bay in 1970, Dorothy began to organize a Republican presence in her new home in Llano County. She brought together a small group of Republican women in 1975 to organize the Highland Lakes Republican Women’s Club to serve Llano, Burnet, Kingsland, Deer Haven and Lampasas municipalities in the tri-county area.

It took all that large sweeping area just to find enough Republican women to form a club. The first meeting was held in Kingsland. Dorothy wrote the bylaws and they were voted on and accepted.

Distance was an issue from the beginning because, even though the meetings were rotated among Llano, Marble Falls, Kingsland and Deer Haven, those from the other areas were not always inclined to attend meetings 30 miles away. Even so, the club’s membership grew to nearly 45 active members by 1982 — with Dorothy playing a major role in recruiting and retaining members.

Dorothy had planted the seed in the Hill Country and additional clubs soon formed as off shoots. The first was the Burnet Republican Women’s Club in 1977, which continues to be an active organization in Burnet County, particularly in Burnet and Marble Falls.

In 1987, Dorothy helped a group of women in the south end of Llano County organize a second new club — the South Llano County Republican Women’s Club. Dorothy served as the club’s president in 1996 and 1997, as well as chairman of various committees afterwards.

The club’s name was changed in 2010 to STAR Republican Women and today has more than 150 active and associate members. STAR is among the largest and most active Republican women’s group in the Hill Country.

Dorothy worked hard for the local clubs as well as the Texas Federation of Republican Women. She served as a TFRW District Director for Region XI and Senate District 24. TFRW first honored Dorothy as Outstanding Republican Woman in 1975 and many accolades followed for her continued service to TFRW, local clubs and communities.

In 1992 and 1993, Dorothy served as TFRW’s Vice President of Legislation. Dorothy is the lady who dreamed up the idea that Republican women should all wear “red” on TFRW’s Legislative Day at the Capital of Texas to visually show the growing number of Republican women.

That year, she made sure invitations were sent to every TFRW federated member club urging the attendees to wear red when they came to Austin, and several hundred women did. It was an awesome site.

It was reported that the Democrat Gov. Ann Richards, who by chance was wearing red that day, saw the large number of Republican women in red, and she went back to the Governor’s Mansion to change her outfit!

Dorothy worked tirelessly for the Republican Party of Texas as well. For more than 40 years, she was a delegate or alternate to the Texas GOP Convention. She also was elected as a Texas delegate to the National Republican Convention several times.

Dorothy’s enthusiastic get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of Republicans seeking key office have been instrumental in putting Republicans into key offices across the state.

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