Bessie Mae James, also well known as “Dee-Dump,” was born on June 2, 1948 to the late Willie Mae Bull and Booker T. Reid in Nassawadox, Virginia. She left this world to rest on December 16, 2019 at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onancock, Virginia.
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Bessie was born and raised on the Eastern Shore and remained here until her departure. She was educated in the public schools of Accomack County. Dee-Dump spent many of her years working in the produce industry at several factories and her favorite job of all was at Nandua Seafood, picking lump crab. Her favorite things to do were cooking, cleaning, being around her grandkids, being entertained by old Westerns, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder and Walker Texas Ranger; her favorite channels were Hallmark Movie Channel and Food Network. Bessie was famously known for her deviled eggs, especially her crab filled ones and her cheesy crab casserole. She could never sit still too long without moving around and doing something. Bessie was well known for her rowdy personality, slick mouth, and her favorite lipstick of choice “Black Orchard.”
Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, Willie Mae and Booker; siblings, Barbara Williams, Virginia Parker, and Booker Reid, Jr.; son-in-law, Edward Stratton, Sr.; grandson, Travis Stratton; and great-grandson, Jonathan Ayres-Stratton.
Bessie Mae left this Earth cherished by: three children, Bessie Stratton (Richard Kellam), Cleveland (Wendy) Reid, and Elisa Reid; six siblings, Percy (Ilene) Reid, Geneva Turner, Rose Green, Lillie Garrett, Mary Reid, and Carolyn Reid; eight grandchildren, Trevon Reid, Clevon Sample, Shakiyla Sample, Treionna Burton, Treniqua Burton, Edward Stratton, Jr., Tyler Bynum, and Trenity Hall; two great-grandchildren, Tamiylah Burton and Traesyn Burton-Walker; and an abundance of nieces, nephews, cousins, and lifetime friends.