Holly Springs Funeral Home

Doris Avent

Doris Brown Avent, 95, died at her home in Holly Springs, Mississippi on July 23, 2021.  She was a retired bookkeeper, a member of the First Baptist Church of Holly Springs, a warm and trusted friend to so many, and an avowed animal lover.
She was born on September 13, 1925, to William Clinard Brown and Carrie Hastings Brown, and later graduated from Holly Springs High School before starting a carrier as a bookkeeper for the Bank of Holly Springs, Booker Hardware, and finally for Ralph Avent.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, William and Carrie Brown; husband, Ralph Avent; son, Robert Michael Durham; sisters, Mary Stanley Brown (J. B. McGill), Martha Lanell Brown Maxey (Rev. Torence Maxey), Cecelia Mae Brown Giles (Albert Fletcher); brothers, John Dabney Brown (Dora Belle Wilson Brown) and Robert Emmet Brown (Lynn Josephine Woodard Brown); niece, Elaine Giles Burden (James Harold Burden); and great niece, Carol Ashton D’Angelo.
She is survived by her grandchildren, Kelly Durham Kuykendall (Greg Kuykendall, deceased), Nicholas Bradley Durham and Brandy Allison Durham; great grandchildren, Kathryn Irene Jessup, Madeline Williamson (Michael Williamson), Matthew Kuykendall, Annie Durham Rimmer (Justin Rimmer), Charlie Durham, Helen Durham and Brooklyn Astrid Durham; and several nieces and nephews and their respective families - Martha Carol Maxey D’Angelo (Joseph Arthur D’Angelo, Jr.) their children, Joseph Arthur D’Angelo, III (Sasha Marie D’Angelo), and grandchildren, Britanny Ashton D‘Angelo, Joseph Arthur D’Angelo IV, and Virginia Carol D’Angelo - William Stanford Maxey (Ruth Ransbotham Maxey) and their children, William Stanford Maxey, Jr. (Laura Preston Maxey), Margaret Taylor Maxey Wilber (Michael James Wilber), and grandchildren Margaret Ann Wilber and Carson James Wilber - Barbara Belle Brown Puryear (Stephen M. Puryear) and their children, Amanda Carriah Puryear (Michael Clay Mansell) and Erin Dabney Puryear, and their grandchildren, AnnaBelle Grace Mansell and Grayson John Mansell – Mary Beth Giles Elliott (Thomas Ross Elliott) and their child, Katherine Hope Elliott Phillips (Michael Scott Phillips) – the child and the grandchild of the late Elaine Giles Burden (James Harold Burden), James Garnett Burden and Ella Giles Burden – Albert Fletcher Giles, Jr. (Lori Ketchum Giles), their children, Meredith Giles Waldrop (Norman Waldrop) and Albert Fletcher Giles, III (Blakeslee Wright Giles) and grandchildren, Norman Waldrop, IV, Robert Lindbergh Waldrop, Albert Fletcher Giles IV and Hardy Thompson Giles – Robert David Brown (Catherine Marie Poposky Brown), and their child, Collin Robert Brown - John Shelby Brown (Kimberly Lea Brown), and their children, Rebecca Katherine Brown, Sarah Victoria Brown Little (Kolby Ray Little), and grandchild, Cooper Ray Little.
A visitation will be held Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at the First Baptist Church of Holly Springs, starting at 10:00 am, and continuing until the service time at 11:00 am.  A graveside service will follow in Hill Crest Cemetery.  The Holly Springs Funeral Home has charge.

Remembering Doris Clinard Brown Avent
Doris, as she was called by most everyone, was born on September 13, 1925 to Carrie Stanley
Hastings Brown and William Clinard Brown. She was the fifth child; one of four sisters and
two brothers. She lived most of her life in Holly Springs, Mississippi, never far from her
parents, brother John Dabney, and sister Mary. When I asked family and close friends about
Doris there were several characteristics that were highlighted by her family and close friends.
Doris loved her family, even thought she and her mother often argued and disagreed, they were
always close. Growing up she was the closest to Cecelia or Sister as we all called her. In
adulthood she was closest to her sister Mary. She was always one of the Brown girls. John
Dabney was always her big brother and was her rock. She tracked his every move when he was
in World War II and even made a scrapbook about it. Doris loved Mike and did everything she
could for him.
Doris worked at the Bank of Holly Springs and Mary worked at the Merchants and Farmers
Bank. This was always confusing to the young cousins when they went to visit. Both worked
in the bookkeeping area. Doris and Mary also kept the books at the Hardware Store for John
Dabney. They sorted the charges daily and sent out the bills every month. Doris could run an
adding machine faster than anyone. Doris cold type and loved her typewriter. She typed her
thank you notes.
Doris was an excellent cook but she followed a recipe exactly, unlike her mother who used
them as suggestions. Her mother wrote out detailed instructions on how to cook and hen and
make dressing shortly after Doris married. The directions were written as though my
grandmother was talking to her. While all Doris’s sisters baked cakes and pies and made
candy; Doris stuck mainly to cookies except for her unbaked fruit cake and fudge cake. Doris
made fudge cakes whenever anyone came to visit. It is odd since she really did not like it and
was not a big fan of chocolate. She loved her butter cookies and tea cakes. Another favorite
was gummy bears. I think my girls got her started on those because they both loved gummies.
She and Mary Bob used to share recipes and did taste testings behind the museum. Though
Doris loved to cook, she at very little and was underweight all of her life.
Doris believed in a clean and orderly house. When Mike was growing up, shoes were left at the
door. That was the rule and it was not broken by him or any of his friends. She vacuumed and
dusted daily. At least once a week, she was on her hands and knees scrubbing her kitchen and
bathroom floors. She would hand paste wax all the floors in her house several times a year
when she lived on Stafford Avenue. Every thing had a place and everything was put in its
place. Ralph used to say that once she put something away, no one else could ever find it. She
knew right where it was.
Next the clean and orderly house was a clean and orderly carport and yard. She swept that
carport daily and stains were not allowed. In the sixties, she would often be seen mowing the
grass in her swimsuit so that she could get a good tan. The lawn was mowed at least once a
week. When she cared for her own lawn, she used scissors to edge those stray blades. Doris
loved her yard and loved flowers. Spring and summer were her times of year so that she could
see the beauty around her. Many times she has had the yard of the month. She loved being
outside on a summer evening.
Doris loved animals, which is good since Mike always wanted a dog. She had a wonderful
boxer named Duke who lived outside. He patrolled the neighborhood making sure that
everyone got in their homes safely. He loved children. Scott Swayne gave Mike Gogo, a Great Dane with a bad
leg. He lived a long and prosperous life. Then as Doris got older, her love of cats became
apparent. Her love of dogs brought her together with her friend Nancy as her Newfoundland
escaped and wound up in Doris’s yard. Doris took him home and met Nancy. Then Nancy was
introduced to Mary Bob and the three of them were best of friends. Not only did the dog find
Doris but also a myriad of stray cats both at her mother’s and her house. Mike bought her a
miniature schnauzer, Willie, who was her constant companion until his death about a month
Doris also had a love of horses and rode bareback when she was a child. This love was shared
with her great granddaughter, Brooklyn. The horses were giant pets. One of the horses used to
steal fruit out of Ralph’s pocket and hand. She and Ralph build a barn on several acres so that
the horses would have a larger place to roam. When she drove up to the gate they would come
down so she could feed.
Doris was the fun aunt, the fun Sunday School teacher. She would have parties for her family
and stay up late talking with sisters, nieces, great nieces and grandchildren. It was nothing for
Doris to be up at 2 am. She was an activity director, planning fun outlets for her loved one’s
visits. She used to let Beth spend the night and try on her shoes and matching purses. Beth was
sure to put the shoes back in the correct box as well as the purse. She loved to take us riding in
the car and would go fast. She maintained her youthful spirit even into her 90’s being the fun
aunt to 2 more generations. She used to tell my girls that they were going a hundred miles an
hour down the hill to from my grandmother’s house to hers. She used to let my girls sit in her
lap and steer the car. She was known to play baby dolls and experiment with make-up with
Brooklyn and AnnaBelle. She let the girls think that they had done such a good job. Often it
seemed that she was more like one of the cousins. She never lost the ability to play. In her 70’s
she jumped on the trampoline with my girls. In her 80’s she would still sit in a children’s swing
and swing. In her 90’s she played pretend. Only arthritis slowed her down.
Doris loved shopping. I would go to Memphis with her and Mary and we were off at a run.
Both had their lists and we had to be home before dark. After Ralph died, she no longer
adhered to that be home at dark and often was seen shopping at Walmart just before closing In
later years, QVC was her channel of choice and she had the number memorized. She loved the
bargains she found and the many different kitchen items. These purchases were usually
between 12 and 3 am. Doris did not sleep.
Doris was always on the run. She was always busy. Family would be at her mother’s house
and she would “fly” down the street, jump out of the car which was still running with the air
conditioner on, leave the door open, and drop off an item for lunch saying I’m late, I’m late.
Doris taught us that you show gratitude when someone gives you something, even if you do not
like it. I bet each of us who know her fell victim to her “Oh, that was so good. I am so glad
that you did that for me.” We just did not know that the cats received that food, or she never
used those vitamins.
She often would tell one of us, “That is our little secret.” This meant that we were not to share
the generous thing that she did, or that she had done something she should not have.. Doris was
fiercely independent in so many ways. Though she was very gracious, she had a bad temper
and she had her limits.
For a last memory. One time when the entire family was gathered, Doris sat down in my little
red rocker from toddler days. She fit easily in. We were all in there visiting and had been for
some time. One of the sisters told a funny story and Doris tried to get up out of the chair and
was stuck. That led to another loud round of laughter. Doris finally got out of the chair and
Sister says, “Doris, what is that on the floor?” With that Doris left the building.
Doris had many dark times in her life and these each affected her in a unique way. She had a
horrible fear of going in a nursing home and made me promise that I would do everything
possible so she would die at home in her own bed Today we each take our memories with us as
Doris is only with us in spirit. Doris hated funerals and did not like to deal with death. She did
not want her funeral flowers to look like a funeral.

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