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Dorothy Mae Nelson

June 11, 1930 – October 12, 2020

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Dorothy Mae Nelson, 90, peacefully passed from this life Monday, October 12, 2020, at her home. She was born June 11, 1930 to Willie and Annie Lee Burns in Shannon. She attended Summer High School in St. Louis, MO, the first high school for African-American students west of the Mississippi River (founded in 1875). She sang on the radio in St. Louis every Saturday morning. She married George Smith and to this union raised seven children, which they were blessed to send all seven to college. After the death of her first husband, she married Jesse Nelson. She spent most of her career as a presser in the dry cleaning business. She was able to train many and to teach others how to care for their clothes. Later in life, she became a world traveler with a senior citizen group out of Georgia. Life and resources have afforded her to travel all over the world. Her greatest experience was the Holy Land. She was a member of St. John M.B. Church where she served as the mother of the church and a member of the SWMU, locally, district, state and nationally. She sang with the Spring Hill District Golden Girls Choir and has been a member of the Eastern Star for 70 years, presently a life member of Wilson Chapter #417. She was a member of the National Council of Negro Women, Tupelo Chapter, Northeast MS Ministers, Deacons and Wives Alliance, GPBSC-Senior Women and the Springhill District Ministers and Wives Alliance. She enjoyed cooking, going to church functions, attending the adult center, traveling and playing Bingo, cards and dominoes.

Private family services will be Thursday at Lee Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Marcus Cox officiating. Burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park. Lee Memorial Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements.

She is survived by her daughters, Annie Jackson (Verlee, Sr.), Gloria Cox (Rev. John), Debbie Jones (Duane Jones, Sr.) and Shelia Davis (Charles); her sons, Willie George Smith, Johnny L. Smith and Terry Smith (Jackie); one sister, Shella Bell (Alford, Sr.); 23 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Albert Booker, Judge Booker and John Lee Burns; her sisters, Ella Harris and Opal Burns Trice; her husbands, George Smith and Jesse Nelson; 1 grandchild, Jonathan Cox and 1 great-grandchild, Ariel Mays.

Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Corey Jackson, Willie Smith, Jr., Sidney Jones, Steward Smith, Christopher Davis, Verlee Jackson, Jr., Sean Jackson, Duane Jones, II, Shane Jones, Jonathan Smith and Gable Smith. Honorary Pallbearers will be St. John Deacons, Kenneth Coleman, Homer L. Washington and Verlee Jackson, Sr.

Public visitation will be 5 – 7 Wednesday and friends are asked to follow COVID protocol.

The family would like to thank Kindred Hospice, Carolyn Martin, Sheketia Foster, Melody Cooperwood, Jessica Davis, Mesha Cox, Stephanie Taliaferro, Tiffany Smith Spight, Tannisha Loggins and Tori Trice for their expert care, and special friend, Nancy Thompson.

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