On March 28, her 69th birthday, Dottie McEuin died after suffering complications from a heart attack, which sent her into a coma.
She had been a Bronco for nearly all of her life.
“She was Denton High,” said Darrell Muncy, the school district’s director of student support services and former DHS principal. “She was an incredible advocate for our campus. As a 1962 grad, a teacher and a counselor, she was a spokesman. I can’t think of anyone who had greater DHS spirit.”
English teacher Julie Love considered her a good friend.
“Dottie was a go-to person,” Love said. “If I had a problem, she was the first person I would call. I was so hopeful she would get well. When I heard that she was not going to recover, I was devastated.”
Assistant Principal Howard Palmer remembers McEuin as genuine.
“Dottie was always positive,” Palmer said. “I remember that Dottie had a heart for the kids. She loved everyone who came to her door, and she treated everybody with respect and tried to help them with their problems.”
Muncy and McEuin collaborated one year when they were ninth-grade administrators together.
“I think we did great work,” Muncy said. “I have a lot of fond memories.”
Dr. Doretha Hudspeth, her colleague of 13 years in the counseling department, remembers her as an ambassador for DHS.
“She was engaging,” Hudspeth said. “People relied on her. Nobody else had the kind of connections she did. It’s like she’s always been here.”
She fondly remembers some of those connections, in particular.
“She knew all the old-time families in Denton, so if their kids or grandkids came through Denton High, she’d know them and have stories about them,” Hudspeth said.
Hudspeth said she was struck by how much McEuin loved her family.
“Each time her daughter-in-law had a child, she’d take off two weeks and go to Kentucky to help with the baby,” Hudspeth said.“She was always there for her kids.”
“Her kids” isn’t limited to just her biological children; it also refers to her students, whom she took great pride in.
“She made an effort to support students at every level,” Muncy said. “From prom to homecoming and volleyball to football, if there was an event, she was there to support these students.”
Hudspeth says that McEuin’s passing is a loss for all of the Denton High family.
“As a department, to think that she won’t walk through those doors again is kind of tough,” Hudspeth said. “I won’t get to say ‘Hey, Dottie!’ anymore. But it just hurts my heart that she won’t get to see her seniors graduate.”
McEuin’s death was so sudden and unforeseen that Hudspeth is concerned Denton High hasn’t gotten closure yet.
“The staff didn’t get to say goodbye,” Hudspeth said. “We need to do something to say goodbye.”
PALS put together a fun-run/field day in which teams can participate in competitive events. All proceeds from the April 26 event were to go toward buying a bench to go outside the front of the school as a memorial to McEuin.
“She bled purple and gold,” PALS member Kallie Smith said. “That’s wonderful, and we should recognize and celebrate her.”
GEORGE ROBERSON is a student at Denton High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” program for student journalists.