I was born the daughter of the late and courageous Jessie Pender Brown and the wonderful and gorgeous Arneader Pearl Howard Brown on September 12, 1927, in Warren County, North Carolina, in a little space called The Jones Place.
I grew up during The Great Depression, but God’s grace brought us through. My formal education was received in the Halifax County Public School System, and I graduated from the former McIver High School in Littleton, North Carolina, with the class of 1947. I furthered my education at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and received my Bachelor of Science Degree in 1951. After graduation, I relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, and sought employment. I was hired and fired the same day. The establishment thought I was white, but when I revealed my race, I was fired. So In continuing the search for my life’s destination, I began working as a seamstress and a substitute teacher in the North Carolina Public School System. My life’s journey then led me to New York City, where I became the head of the Civil Service Dietitian Department.
Along my destination, God blessed me with two gems, Kelvin and Melvin. My journey led me to Philadelphia where I became a dietitian at Penn Hospital. Later, I secured a position in the Philadelphia Public School System.
During my journey, I met and married the love of my life, James Dorsey, on June 18, 1968, and we returned to North Carolina in 1971.
While on my journey, I fell in love with several hobbies that I enjoyed immensely: arts and crafts, sewing, gardening, carpentry, and writing songs, poems, skits and plays.
In 1940, my search on the journey led me to join the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina. I was a faithful member until my health declined. God allowed me to serve in many capacities in the church including Adult Sunday School teacher, a Missionary, an advisor to the Youth Department and Youth Choir, Vacation Bible School teacher, Arts and Crafts instructor, writer and director of the Drama Department, and also a Deaconess.
During my journey, God called home to Glory my parents and two brothers, Claude and Dempsey Brown.
Those remaining to forever treasure my love and memory are, the love of my life, James Dorsey of the home; my sons, Kelvin Hyke (Bertina) of Rocky Mount, NC, and Melvin Hyke (Eve) of Roanoke Rapids, NC; a very special nephew who was like a son, Michael Ellison (Shelley) of Port Charles, FL; five grandchildren, Geron Hyke (Stephanie), Damien Hyke, Kelvin Hyke, Katriece Hyke, and Jessica Henderson (Ian); my sister, Vada Ellison (Thomas) of Lindenwald, NJ; two other special nephews, Eddie and Anthony Ellison; my mother-in-law, Helen Barrett; three sisters-in-law, Katherine Hamlet (Lewis), Iris Holloway (Harris), and Cordelia Thomas (Ernest) all of Phenix, VA; a host of great-grandchildren and great-great- grandchildren; my two special aids who were my angels, Tymira Gills and Leah Rice; and many friends whom I leave my legacy, my memory, and my favorite saying, “An unforgiving heart can tear your life apart, damage your heart, endanger your soul, and render your life out of control. So free your heart and soul. Forgive, live, and let live.”
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, December 3, 2016, at the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Littleton, NC. Words of comfort will be delivered by Rev. Danny Jones. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, Texas 75244, in memory of Darie Celesta Brown Dorsey.