SOUTHPORT — David Henderson Dorsett, 73, of Southport, North Carolina, died suddenly Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, from complications of diabetes.
His final days were spent at home hosting a reunion for his Marine Corps Battery from Vietnam.
Mr. Dorsett was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Dec. 28, 1942, the son of the late James Robert Dorsett and Martha Burnside Dorsett. He is survived by siblings James Robert Dorsett Jr. (June) of High Point, North Carolina, Lynn Dorsett Sutphen of Menifee, California, and Anne Dorsett Niles (Tim) of Cary, North Carolina; his wife of 35 years, Ellen Stout Dorsett; his stepson, William M. Sherrod and wife, Melissa; and grandchildren, Aubrey, Andrew, Jacob and Anna Sherrod of Southport.
Mr. Dorsett was in the class of 1961 at W. H. Page High School, Greensboro. He enlisted in the USMC in 1961 and served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was in the first detachment that landed in Vietnam on March 7, 1965, and remained there for a year. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with the Combat V for actions during this period.
After military service, he returned to Greensboro where he earned a degree in Theoretical Mathematics from Guilford College. While attending Guilford he worked in research and development at Burlington Industries and as a senior systems analyst for the US Postal Service at the Greensboro Bulk Mail Center (BMC). He directed the acceptance of the nation’s 21 BMC’s new automated mail and computerized zip code systems. In 1981, he moved to Southport and began work at Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant. He remained there until he retired in 2005.
He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Southport, where he served as Youth and Adult Sunday-School Teacher, Sunday school superintendent, lay leader, Scout liaison, Scout leader, lay speaker and district lay leader. He spent 35 years as a counselor on the Youth High Adventure 50 mile Appalachian Trail Hike, where he amazed all with his recitation of “The Mountain Whippoorwill.”
He was active in Emmaus and Kairos ministries. He volunteered at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site during Heritage Days and also at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. During his younger days he was an avid paddler and canoed many of North Carolina’s rivers. He tended the small scuppernong grape vineyard on his farm and enjoyed travel. His passion was genealogy and he had extensive files on Ancestry.com. He wrote a book on the Dorsett family and assisted genealogy researchers across the nation.
There will be a celebration of his life at Trinity United Methodist Church, Southport, North Carolina, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, at 2 p.m. The family will greet attendees after the service. Interment will be in the Dorsett family cemetery at Love’s Creek Baptist Church in Silver City at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances to be made to Matthew’s Ministry (www.matthewsministry.com) or a favorite charity.
Online condolences may be made at www.peacocknewnamwhite.com.