Kathy Dozier of Algonquin, whose 12-year-old son hit a grand slam in her honor this summer in Cooperstown N.Y., died Oct. 5, her final days comforted by those exhilarating memories, her relatives said.
Dozier, 44, was the owner of "Chasin' Our Tails," a dog day care in Cary. In early June, she was battling stage 4 melanoma but powered through the trip to New York to share with her son Mason Kamp the experience of the Cooperstown Dreams Park youth baseball invitational tournament.
Mason, a catcher and first baseman for the McHenry County Outlaws, had announced to everyone that he would hit a home run in his mother's honor. On June 4, he did just that. In fact, he cleared the bases with it.
Mason's feat made Dozier feel like the proudest mom in the world, said Dozier's twin sister, Karen Tellez of Chicago. "It was the highlight of her life. It was her dream to see her son play at Cooperstown. That was a dream enough for her. And then to have that grand slam moment ... " Tellez said. "When she was sick in the last days, she would recall that day and she was so happy. She saw that as her final tribute with her son."
Growing up in Elgin, Dozier played baseball, volleyball and basketball, and graduated from Larkin High School. "She was sturdy and strong, and could face any challenge. She was just always a star in whatever team she was in," Tellez said.
Five years ago, Dozier left a corporate career with a mortgage title company to open the dog day care, which she was very passionate about, said her sister-in-law, Carrie LaRue of Naperville.
"She didn't go to college but she was able to accomplish so much. She opened a business during the worst time of the recession, and it was very successful," LaRue said. "Everybody that met her loved her. She was very genuine. She was just a very, very good person."
Dozier also loved riding her Harley-Davidson bike, custom-painted in her favorite color, purple. She played softball until the age of 39, and passed on her love of baseball to her son, LaRue said.
"She was a person who loved the silliness in life, even when times got tough. From when we were kids through being mothers together, she always found a way to laugh. Even when things got bleak, she was able to laugh -- all the way until the end," Tellez said. "That's the lesson I take way from this: never to take things too seriously and always find the laughter."
Memorial visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Wait-Ross-Allanson Funeral and Cremation Services Chapel, 206 S. Main St., Algonquin. Burial will be private.