Doris Dabbs, a longtime Venice resident and entrepreneur who bought property on Brooks Avenue that she held onto for decades, has died. She was 95.
Dabbs died Sunday morning peacefully in her sleep in the first home that she bought in the 500 block of Brooks Avenue, said her granddaughter-in-law Maricela Morales Anderson.
Dabbs moved to Venice when she was in her 20s and flourished as an entrepreneur at a time when Jim Crow was alive and well, even in Venice. She saved her earnings from working as a maid and had several unsuccessful attempts at buying property until she got a loan for that first home on Brooks, Anderson said. She managed her money well and eventually purchased both houses on either side of her first home, Anderson said. She later acquired rental property and was known for being a fair landlord and believed in reasonable rent, said Jataun Valentine, a family friend.
"She was well-liked and she really loved Venice," Valentine said.
Over the years, Dabbs fended off real estate agents who were clamoring for her property.
The real estate agents at one point were calling daily asking if she was willing to sell and Anderson recalled that Dabbs would reply in a very stern voice, "No, this is mine and I'm taking it with me."
Dabbs is survived by three children: Ernestine Dabbs Anderson, Petronia Dabbs Collins and Edward Dabbs; three adopted children: Diane Smith, Regina Smith and Gregory Smith; 12 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be held Monday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 685 Westminster Ave. in Venice.