Lighthouse 02

Bessie Louise Dortch Anderson Calhoun

March 22, 1935 ~ April 25, 2022 (age 87)

Obituary Image



Mrs. Bessie Dortch Anderson Calhoun, daughter of the late Johnnie and Leora Burt was born March 22, 1935 in Nash County, NC. She was called to her eternal home on Monday, April 25, 2022.

She was preceded in death by her Aunt Jessie Mangum by whom she was raised after the passing of her mother; two children, Zachary Dortch and Linda Dortch, and all her siblings.

Bessie graduated from Spratley Collage of Beauty Culture in Newport News, Va. on November 17, 1958. After several years in Cosmetology, she started a new chapter in her life and began working as a Librarian in the Hampton City School System. Bessie served as the Church Secretary for Little Zion Baptist Church before fully retiring from the work force.

During her years as a member of Antioch Christian Center she was appointed as the mother of the Church in 1998. In 2001, she became a member of First Baptist Church Jefferson Park where she served as a member of the Sanctuary Choir. She was Consecrated as a Deaconess in January of 2012 and served faithful until God called her home to glory.

Bessie was loved by so many. She was affectionally know as Mama Bessie, not only in her neighborhood but also to those within her church.

On April 6, 2001, she married her beloved husband, Jimmy “James” Calhoun Sr. They enjoyed many memorable moments together from the Outer Banks of NC. to the beaches of Aruba and celebrating family time in Cancun, Mexico. Jimmy was by his Baby’s side until God called her home.

Bessie was a loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. We all love her but God loves her more. Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.

She is survived by her husband, James Calhoun Sr. of Hampton, VA;

Nine Dortch-Anderson children, Rose Ballard (James) and Simone Williams (LaMonte) of Newport News, VA; Jerry Dortch (Wanda) of Boone, NC; Charmoine “Charlee” Draughn and James “Pete” Howard of Upper Marlboro, MD; Charleen Silver of Fredricksburg, VA; Trina Lawson (Darryl) of Port St. Lucie, FL; Mixona “Mikki” James (Warren) of Hampton, VA; Zachary Dortch (Hope) of Oklahoma City, OK; and a special Goddaughter, Lisa Adams of Lynchburg, VA.;

Six Calhoun children, James Calhoun Jr. (Elisa) of Enterprise, AL; Bonita Kenny, Lecia Crawford, and Shauna Whitlow (Bernard) of Newport News, VA; Nicole Moore (Jose) of Carrollton, VA; and Elliot Cobbins (Ke’Aundra) of Moyock, NC.; and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family and friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bessie Louise Dortch Anderson Calhoun, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Bessie

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith Brothers Funeral Home

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


May 3, 2022

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Smith Brothers Funeral Home
545 E Mercury Blvd.
Hampton, VA 23663

Funeral Service
May 4, 2022

12:00 PM
First Baptist Church Jefferson Park
615 42nd street
Newport News, VA 23607

© 2022 Smith Brothers Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility