Doris Salley Welch went to her heavenly home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 2, 2024, at the age of 91. Doris was born on July 3, 1932, to the late James Edward and Mary Annie Solomon Salley in Roxboro, N.C.
Doris began working at the young age of 12 in the ticket booth at the Palace Theater which later became the Kirby Theater. She also became an usher and had the opportunity to meet numerous movie stars who traveled from theater to theater to promote their movies. The 1940’s western star Lash Larue chose Doris to come on stage to perform one of his famous acts. He placed a cigarette between her lips, stood back and cracked his bullwhip to snatch the cigarette out of her mouth without touching her face.
Because she worked from such a young age, Doris opted to take a taxi to high school each day instead of riding the school bus, paying the fare from her earnings.
After high school, Doris moved to Virginia where she worked at First National Bank of Newport News. She was such a live wire and the life of the party, she sweet talked the vice president of the bank to dance the bunny hop with her at the Christmas party.
During this time, Doris resided at a boarding house called Wesley Hall with her roommate Beatrice Welch, who introduced Doris to her brother, Don. The two fell in love and married on Jan. 20, 1955. Four years later in 1959, the couple welcomed their firstborn daughter, Debbie, and two years later, in 1961, a second daughter, Donna, was born. The family moved to New Orleans, La., in 1969 and a year later moved again to Ocean Springs where they resided most of their lives.
The family became members of Belle Fountain Baptist Church where they worshipped together for more than 50 years. Doris loved dressing up for church parties and on more than one occasion, fooled many with her costumes. During one party, she showed up as hobo and would not speak to anyone in order to stay anonymous. That particular costume ended up backfiring on her when the church voted to elect her church clerk, and she never said a word!
As her husband Don taught Sunday School for more than 60 years, Doris with her outgoing personality, became the one who called to check on those who were sick, and also sent out birthday cards to those celebrating birthdays and get-well cards for those who were under the weather.
Doris loved her family with all of her heart. Her children, Debbie and Donna; her grandchildren, Jennifer, Heather and Noah and her great-grandchild, Braxton, were the apples of her eye. In addition, Doris “adopted other chicks along the way” loving them like they were her own.
Doris was preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Beatrice (Wilson) Clark; her in-laws, Richard P. and Nannie Crisp Welch; and her three siblings, – the late Gracie Salley Russell Kurfees, the late Robert “R.D.” Salley and the late Rufus Flint “Tom” Salley, all of Roxboro, N.C.
She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Franklin Donald Welch; her children Debbie (J.T.) Anglin of Ocean Springs and Donna (Al) Burkett of Grand Bay, AL.; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Gentry) Williams of Pascagoula, Heather Pike of Pensacola, FL, Noah Anglin of Gulfport; great-grandchild, Braxton Williams of Pascagoula; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of The Retreat, Hospice by SAAD in Mobile, AL. for their compassionate and excellent care of Doris in her final days.
Visitation will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, February, 9, 2024, at Belle Fountain Baptist Church in Ocean Springs, followed by the service at noon. Interment will be in the church cemetery.
Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Doris Salley Welch.