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Dorris Faye Porter Massie, born July 18, 1935, to James Roy Porter and Annie Mae Denton Porter in Coffeeville, Mississippi, left this earthly life after an extended illness on Sunday, January 30, 2022.
The oldest of four daughters, Dorris exhibited leadership tendencies at an early age. Despite a childhood illness that delayed her education, Dorris began her career as a businesswoman after graduating high school in the 1950s. Her career started as a secretary and bookkeeper at Rebel Motors, Inc. in Oxford, MS. where she learned the fundamentals of the business world. The next step in her career was to become an insurance agent.
In 1962, Dorris married her true love J. B. Massie. Together, they had two children. In 1974, Dorris was widowed. After the death of her husband, Dorris found herself in an unusual position for the time; a woman who owned a prestigious business, Massie Insurance Agency.
Dorris grew her business and raised her children in a time when single women were seldom recognized as leaders in their communities. Dorris broke those stereotypes by obtaining her realtor’s license, garnering a seat on the board of directors of the Sunburst Bank, being an active leader in the First Christian Church, and an influential member of many community organizations, such as the Junior Auxiliary and the Pilot club.
In addition to her professional and community activism, Dorris advocated the gender integration of the Water Valley summer youth league baseball program in the 1970’s. An effort that allowed her daughter to participate in the league.
After the 1984 tornado, the insurance companies Dorris represented, as an independent insurance agent, left Mississippi. Forced to reimagine her business ventures, Dorris went on to own several other successful small businesses until her health forced her to retire around 2013.
Dorris’ success was due to her ingenuity and unwavering spirit; which carried on into her family life. Dorris became the matriarch of her family upon the passing of her father in 1982. Dorris cared for her mother until her death in 2008 as well as being the pillar through several other family tragedies.
Dorris was especially close to her younger sister Joan Porter McMinn.
Dorris was treasured by many close friends over the years whom she considered to be family and took great pride in the terms of endearment that they referred to her such as ‘Momma Massie” and “Darse”.
Dorris’ greatest accomplishment in life was her children. She took great pride in them and their personal successes in life. Her love for them exceeded their understanding as there was no physical way for her to adequately express her love for them.
Dorris leaves her children Jane Massie (Rande) of Hernando, MS; John B.(Benjie) Massie, Jr. of Water Valley, MS; one grandchild Kaylee Sprouse of Water Valley, MS; a special nephew, Kevin McMinn of Saltillo, MS; David McNamee of Water Valley, MS; two sisters and three nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, J. B. Massie; parents, James Roy Porter and Annie Mae Denton Porter; special friend, Bill Taylor; and sister, Joan Porter McMinn.
The family will hold a graveside service to honor the life of Dorris on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 2:00 PM. She will be buried in the family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Water Valley.
Oak Hill Cemetery
412 Blackmur Drive Water Valley, MS 38965
Water Valley, MS 38965