Essie Beatrice Coker Dozier passed away peacefully in her sleep at home on March 4, 2022, at the age of 90, in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Affectionately known as Essie B by close family members, she was born on April 20, 1931, in Garysburg, North Carolina, to the late William Jackson Sr. and Lucille Britt Coker. Known as the quiet one, she was the oldest of five children. Essie graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, in Norfolk, VA, and then went on to study at Virginia State College/Norfolk State College. She completed her undergraduate degree in Library Science at North Carolina Central College. Furthermore, she completed a master’s degree at Old Dominion University and received numerous awards, certificates, and letters of recognition for her academic endeavors and community leadership.
Essie was married to the late McKinley Dozier Jr. and had four children, McKinley Dozier III (deceased), Debra Felicia Dozier, Nelson Fitzgerald Dozier, and Marvin LeRoy Dozier.
In 1991, she retired from the Chesapeake public school system as a beloved librarian and media specialist. However, her tireless love for books and knowledge led her to a post retirement career as a librarian at Norfolk State University in the early 90s. She had a passion for educating all students and delighted in making cross-cultural connections with foreign exchange students. Additionally, after retiring, she had a keen interest in black history, genealogy, black literature, and international travel. She actively engaged in these interests by participating in black history research at North Carolina State University at Chapel Hill. She was a museum docent and spiritedly participated in presentations of the Henrietta Marie slave ship at Nauticus. She was also a member of Phi Delta Kappa sorority and the North Carolina Central University Alumni Association. She enjoyed these activities up until the time she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and unable to participate.
Essie will be remembered most for her generosity, service to others, and unwavering love and commitment to her family, especially her grandchildren. She never met a stranger and won people over with a warm spirit and by making them feel at ease with her grace, poise, and open heart.
Preceding Essie in death are her parents, William J. Coker Sr., and Lucille B. Coker, her first son, McKinley Dozier III, and three siblings, Arlo V. Coker, William J. Coker Jr., and Russell M. Coker.
Essie leaves to treasure her life and legacy three children, Debra Dozier, Nelson Dozier, and Marvin (Margaret) Dozier; a sister, Eunice Margaret Parker; five grandchildren, Kevin Peller, Nasir Dozier, Nasia Dozier, Din Regis-Dozier and Marvin McKinley Dozier; and four great-grandchildren, Ma'Kiyah Peller, Kimiya Peller, Elijah Regis-Dozier, and Zoe Regis-Dozier.
Essie also leaves behind a host of relatives and friends to cherish her memory. Special relatives and friends include Delores Coker Bradley, Ella Maul, Eleanor Griffin, Margaret Bell, Jose Coker, Dave Allen, and Dennis Mitchell.