Tribune Print Share Text

Signal still strong

Texas couple celebrates life at Highland Springs

Created date

September 24th, 2014
photo of couple outside

Roy and Dorthell Shotts have spent a lifetime growing in love. The couple, residents of Springs in North Dallas, have a wedding anniversary coming up this month.

“We were married on October 10 at the First United Methodist Church in Victoria, Tex.,” says Dorthell. 

No girl but you

Roy and Dorthell met when she arrived at the Victoria Bank and Trust to train for Roy’s job. He had enlisted in the Army Air Corps, a precursor to the Air Force.

“We became friends,” says Dorthell. “I had a boyfriend, and Roy had a girlfriend. We went on double dates together.”

When Dorthell volunteered to drive her boyfriend Jim to the army base at Foster Field to report for duty, Roy said he would go along. As soon as Jim was out of the car, Roy turned to Dorthell.

“There’s no need for you to see Jim anymore,” he said.

Dorthell hesitated before asking, “What about you? You have a girlfriend.”

“I don’t have any girl but you,” came Roy’s swift reply.

War ends, new chapter begins

After their wedding, Roy and Dorthell lived in a state of limbo. Roy was training with the Air Corps and preparing to deploy. When his orders came, he was to ship out of Lincoln, Neb., for Japan in August 1945.

“I went out with the guys the night before we were scheduled to leave,” says Roy. “When I arrived on the base at 4 a.m. to report for duty, I learned the war was over.”

Roy was discharged, and the couple returned to Texas.

“I had a friend, Joe Trum, who was a sports announcer for the radio station KRIC in Beaumont, Tex.,” says Roy. “He helped me get a job at the station. I became an on-air disc jockey and radio announcer overnight.”

‘From the ground up’

Eventually, Roy and four friends struck out on their own, forming the radio station KTRM in Beaumont/Port Arthur. 

“We literally built the station from the ground up,” says Roy. “I remember plowing the field around the antenna so we could bury our radial lines. It was a learning curve and we made a lot of missteps along the way, but with time we were successful.”

Dorthell supported her husband’s enterprise by helping with the bookkeeping and hosting parties for the station. She also cared for the couple’s three daughters, Karen, Carlaine, and Candace.

“Dorthell threw the best parties around,” says Roy. “She has a knack for making people feel at ease.”

After several decades in the radio business, Roy and his business partners sold KTRM. Roy went to work for the NBC television affiliate in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area where he was the general manager until he retired in 1988.

Worry-free lifestyle

In 2012, the couple moved to Highland Springs to be closer to their daughter Karen, who works for Richardson ISD.

“I was accustomed to living in our house,” Roy admits. “But now I’m thrilled we made the move. There’s no upkeep or home maintenance to worry about. It gives me great peace of mind.”

As they look forward to their upcoming anniversary, Roy says marrying Dorthell was the best thing he’s ever done.

Dorthell, for her part, has high praise for her husband.

“When we married, Roy thought he could conquer the world,” she says. “As far as I’m concerned, he did.”