Dora Dunkley Harbin

Services will be help at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at Main St. Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS for Dora Ann Dunkley Harbin, 86, of Hattiesburg, MS. Dora entered through the pearly gates on November 6, 2021 in Hattiesburg, MS as Byron, her loving husband, Byron, of 61 years held her hand at bedside.

Dora was born on October 22, 1935 and was raised in Beaumont, MS. Dora graduated from William Carey in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and went on to receive an RN degree from the Mather School of Nursing, She served as lab technician in the Mississippi State Milk Laboratory, clinical instructor for the Mather School of Nursing, head nurse at Baptist Hospital in New Orleans, and other nursing positions at Bailey Memorial Hospital in Clinton SC, and Methodist Hospital of Hattiesburg, MS.

She met her husband Lonnie “Byron” Harbin while in nursing school in New Orleans. The two were married on June 12, 1960 and began serving the LORD together. The couple and their three children, Trish, Debbie and Chris moved to Brazil in 1970-1998 to serve as missionaries in Sao Paulo, SP and Recife PE (Brazil). While on the mission field, Dora taught basic health in various churches in Brazil. She helped Brazilians receive proper health care and served as a nurse to missionary families. Dora wrote and coordinated Human Needs Projects, ranging from $30,000 to $1.25 million. She has received scrolls of honor from the International Mission Board, the Brazilian Baptist Convention, and the Sao Paulo State Convention. Because of her service to the people of Brazil, a dental clinic and a building on the Brazilian Baptist Children’s Home campus were named in her honor.

Since returning to the United States, Dora was involved with Christian Women’s Job Corps, helping to establish certification for National Christian Women’s Job Corps at Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. She was also a regional director with Advocates for Freedom to combat human trafficking. She and Byron are members of Main Street Baptist Church, where she has served as a Sunday School teacher, choir member and on the missions committee. She and Byron moved into Provision Living Assisted Living Facility in May 2019, where she served on the Residence Council.

Dora loved life and loved people. She had a wonderful sense of humor. She asked her brother, Jack, how he wanted his egg cooked and his reply was he wanted the yolk hard and the white runny, so she separated an egg cooked the yolk and then poured the white over it as soon as it turned white she scooped in up and served it to him. She once asked a fellow missionary how he liked his coffee, he said he liked it just the way God made it, so she gave him a cup of coffee beans.

Dora loved her family. She was proud of her children, grandchildren and was able to meet her first great-grandchild. She is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Lonnie “Byron” Harbin of Hattiesburg MS, her children, Patricia “Trish” Sanderford of Hattiesburg MS, Deborah “Debbie” Harbin Ingram (Clyde) of Hattiesburg MS and Christopher “Chris" Byron Harbin (Karen) of Wingate NC; her grandchildren, Kasey Renee Ingram Burge (Austin), Jessica Ann Ingram, Jonathan Christopher Goforth Harbin, Joshua David Goforth Harbin and Joseph Ramshur Sanderford (Stephanie); a great-grandson, Kayson Grant Burge; her sister, Linda Dunkley Byrd (DeVon), and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, James “Edgar” Dunkley Sr. and Jessie Agnes Chandler Dunkley of McLaurin MS; her baby sister, Janice Dunkley Whatley of Citronelle AL; her brother, James E “Jack” Dunkley Jr of McLaurin MS, and her son-in-law, Joseph “Joey” Sanderford of Brandon MS.

Most of all, Dora loved her LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. She dedicated her life to serving Him. 2 Corinthians 3:3 sums up her life, “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

Dora’s legacy will live on in the lives and hearts of those who were blessed to know her. She loved deeply and her life exemplified the love Christ has for all.