Dorcy Leith Hughes Watler

2 entries
  • "Dorcy was a career-long friend and associate. A great guy..."
    - William F. Nelson
  • "I met Dorcy while employed at St. Elizabeth Hospital-never..."
    - Judy Morton
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Dorcy Leith Hughes Watler, 91, died March 30, 2014, at Presbyterian Village North (PVN) in Dallas where he had resided since 2007. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease. Dorcy was an outstanding example of the Greatest Generation. Tested in war and an exemplary citizen in peacetime, he was a man of his word who could be counted on by family, friends, church or community. He was always there with love or support, usually long before he was even asked. A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 3, 2014, in the Parish Hall of St. Anne Catholic Church, 2715 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont. Dorcy was born on October 6, 1922, in Port Arthur, Texas. His parents, Dorcy L. Watler and Eulalie Coe Watler, had emigrated to Port Arthur from Grand Cayman, B.W.I. Dorcy was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1941 and then enrolled at Texas A&M College. He was soon swept into World War II. He was sworn in to active duty in the U.S. Army in March, 1943, commissioned a Second Lieutenant in September, 1944, and entered combat on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1944, in Gambschein, Alsace, France. Dorcy served as a platoon leader in Company C, 232nd Regiment of the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division. He remained on the front lines until he was wounded in combat on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, near Brittenbrun, Germany. Dorcy was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for valor in combat, the Purple Heart for wounds received in action and the Combat Infantryman Badge for service in battle. He was honorably discharged from active duty in the Army as a First Lieutenant in June, 1946, and served in the Army Reserve until 1972, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1946, he met Polly Collins, the love of his life, when they were introduced through a blind date arranged by mutual friends. Polly and Dorcy were married in St. James Catholic Church in Port Arthur, on September 6, 1947. Dorcy graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in May, 1948, and earned his license from the State of Texas as an architect that year. In 1950, Dorcy joined the Beaumont firm of Stone & Pitts and he practiced architecture in Beaumont until his retirement in 1987 from White Budd VanNess, the successor firm to Stone & Pitts. Dorcy provided professional services in the design and construction of numerous public schools, buildings at Texas A&M University, the University of Houston and Lamar University, and commercial and industrial buildings in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. In 1959, Dorcy founded Boy Scout Troop 85 under the sponsorship of St. Anne Catholic Church. Dorcy served as Scoutmaster from 1959-67 and devoted countless volunteer hours to Scoutmaster duties. Dorcy served on the city of Beaumont Beautification Commission and a term as president of the Southeast Texas Chapter of the Texas Society of Architects. He was active in the Beaumont Lions Club, the Beaumont A&M Club, and was a long-time A&M Century Club member. He was elected to the St. Anne Parish Council and also served many years as co-chair of the Building and Grounds Committee at St. Anne's. Dorcy was active in the Rainbow Veterans Association and attended monthly chapter luncheons in Dallas. In retirement, he remained involved in helping and serving others. He and Polly volunteered at Some Other Place and Meals on Wheels. After relocating to PVN in Dallas following Polly's death, he served as president of the residents' council, a reporter for the PVN newspaper and a trustee of the PVN supporting charitable foundation. Even as Dorcy contended with the advancement of Parkinson's and old age, he made new friends at his retirement community, maintained a cheerful, uncomplaining disposition and continued to be thrilled in spending time with his family. Dorcy was a parishioner at St. Anne Catholic Church in Beaumont for more than 56 years and a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dallas for 7 years. Dorcy was a faithful and loving care-giver to Polly in her final years as she battled dementia. Dorcy is survived by his devoted sister, Mrs. Charles (Mary) Holmes of Port Arthur. He is also survived by son, D. Hughes Watler Jr. and daughter-in-law, Barbara Watler; grandson, Kevin Manahan; granddaughter, Tracy W. Guara and her husband, Chris; son, Mark C. Watler; and grandson, Gregory L. Watler, all of Houston; and son, Paul C. Watler and daughter-in-law, Julia A. Watler; granddaughter, Blair Watler; and grandson, Reid Watler, all of Dallas; and future granddaughter-in-law, Shannon Dodds of Houston. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Maj. Gen. Harold E. Collins (retired) of San Antonio and sister-in-law, Mrs. L.A. (Kate) Collins of Schenectady, New York; along with numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the scholarship fund at Monsignor Kelly High School, 5950 Kelly Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77707 or to St. Anne Catholic Church, 2715 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77701. Complete and updated information may be found at

Funeral Home
Broussard's Mortuary
2000 McFaddin Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
(409) 832-1621
Published in the The Beaumont Enterprise on Apr. 1, 2014
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