Absence of hit-and-run victim felt by friends, church community

Absence of hit-and-run victim felt by friends, church community

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Sunday morning service at Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church was the first since the tragic death of Doris Duckworth last week. She was killed last Wednesday in a hit and run crash at CSL Plasma in Gulfport.

The absence of her kind and loving personality was hard to ignore, especially by those who knew her best.

Doris always had a big smile for everyone she knew.
Doris always had a big smile for everyone she knew. (Source: Family of Doris Duckworth)

Gayle Breland and Kathy Stewart grew up with Doris in the church.

The three close friends often sat together during service, but today Doris' spot on the pew remained empty.

“I know when I walk out there I’m not going to see her waving her hands or the clapping of her hands. I’m not going to be able to see that no more,” Breland said.

“I saw her last Sunday and it was the last time I seen her. It’s sad, but it’s true,” Stewart added.

They said Doris was known for her love of basketball and of people.

“She had that smile. She’d look at you, and be like, ‘Hey Kathy! What you cook? What you cook?’ She wanted to know what I cooked all the time," Stewart said.

“You ever heard the saying, oh she’ll give you the shirt off her back. She gave me, I’m wearing it today. She wore it to church one Sunday, and I was like ‘Doris, give me that.’ She just took it off and gave it to me,” Breland recalled.

Doris, pictured far left, was a member of Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church for more than 50 years.
Doris, pictured far left, was a member of Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church for more than 50 years. (Source: WLOX)

Doris was also the pastor’s care chairman, keeping the Rev. Phillip McSwain’s office clean and the coffee pot, and his belly, full.

“She loved to cook for the pastor, for myself rather I should say, and my family. Because she said her mother always would say always take care of the preacher,” McSwain said.

Even though this dedicated long time member is gone, it's clear her legacy will live on.

“I love you, Doris. I’m going to miss you,” Stewart said.

Funeral services for Doris Duckworth are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14, at Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The viewing will be at 10 a.m. with the service following after at 11 a.m.

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