Jennie Dorsett

March 28, 1951February 26, 2011

Jennie Dorsett died Saturday, February 26, 2011 in N. Myrtle Beach, SC. She was born March 28, 1951 at Mary Elizabeth Hospital in Raleigh to Harry K. and Margaret Lamb Dorsett. She graduated from Needham Broughton High School and earned a B.A. from the University of NC at Chapel Hill in 1973. After teaching school at Kingswood Elementary in Cary for 5 years, she returned to law school at UNC, receiving her Juris Doctorate degree in 1981. From 1981-1984 she was an attorney for the Cumberland County Department of Social Services. Jennie had a significant impact on the public policy of our state, serving the North Carolina General Assembly for more than 30 years first as an attorney in the General Research Division, where she staffed several judiciary committees, and then as a lobbyist. While a legislative attorney, Jennie worked with then Superior Court Judge Tom Ross to reform our state’s sentencing policies for criminal cases. This work led to the adoption of NC’s structured sentencing laws, which became a national model. After her service as a legislative attorney, Jennie worked with the law firm Zebulon D. Alley, PA, and then had her own successful lobbying, law and consulting business. Jennie was consistently ranked as one of the top lobbyists at the General Assembly, voted as one of the 50 most effective (out of 600-800 registered lobbyists) by her colleagues, legislators and the State Capitol Press Corps. She was well-respected and trusted throughout state government – by Republicans and Democrats, the legislative leadership and legislators of both political parties, and in the executive branch and state agencies. Jennie was honest, smart, thorough, candid and fair. She loyally represented many clients (and they returned that loyalty), including the North Carolina Association of Health Plans (for which she was both a lobbyist and Executive Director), ElectriCities of North Carolina, the North Carolina Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, the North Carolina Athletic Trainers Association, the North Carolina Outdoor Advertising Association, and the North Carolina Wholesalers Association. Jennie was a consummate professional, and above and beyond that, a caring, kind, generous and compassionate person, with a warm and sharp sense of humor. She gave freely of her time as a volunteer for many charitable causes, including her beloved Optimist Club, for which she sold Christmas trees every December. She will be greatly missed by her many friends and colleagues.

Jennie was predeceased by her father and younger sister Helen Dorsett. She is survived by her mother, Margaret L. Dorsett of Tolarsvile, NC; two brothers, Harry K. Jr. (Bubba) and Ronald L. Dorsett of Raleigh; her aunt Mrs. Dorothy L. Jackson of Buies Creek; and numerous cousins. Memorial Services will be held for Jennie at 2 pm on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 1701 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh, 27609. Family will receive friends on Wed., March 2, 2011 from 7-9 pm at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in Jennie’s honor to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Raleigh, the Optimist Club or a charity of your choice.

Jennie was a gracious hostess who enjoyed entertaining, dancing, traveling, and especially the beach and S.O.S., and was an avid Tarheel fan. She had recently re-kindled a passion for golf (which would have delighted her late father.) Jennie was a caring and generous soul who touched many lives beyond her circle of acquaintances and relatives. Condolences may be sent the family at


  • Celebration of Life Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jennie Dorsett

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Yvonne Tomek

July 28, 2011

I cannot believe that my dear sweet Jennie has gone. I loved her very much as did my mother, brother, and so many people I know in the Durham/Raleigh area. She was the kindest, best and most generous person and I owed her a lot for all the things she did for me. She refused payment for all the legal work she did for my family when my mother passed away. Jennie, I know that you are in heaven and you know that I love you and I know we shall meet again one day in all happiness. You were great and we did have so much fun in the years I knew you. God is keeing you close. Rest in peace, my dear Jennie.

Yvonne Tomek

Mitzi Ivey

March 9, 2011

We called each other "cuz", because we are cousins, BUT we were more than that... There are not enough words to say what she meant to me and my family. As everyone knows, she was the "glue" to this family. I will miss her everyday, but do know one day I will see her again. I love and miss you so very much.

March 8, 2011

Deanna Carroll

March 8, 2011

I am very sorry for the loss of your precious child. Looking at the photos, she was a very bright and beautiful lady. I did not know Jennie but knowing her mother, she was a very admired and thoughtful person. I am thinking and praying for you during this time. I will let my sister Sandy and the family know of your loss. I miss seeing you and am here for you if you need anything. We love you, Deanna Carroll

March 8, 2011

Mrs. Dorsett, Ronnie, and Bubba, May God comfort you during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We Love You All, Charles, Armenta, and Keith Prince.

Paul Mahoney

March 7, 2011

My condolences over the loss of a terrific person. Jennie was honest, funny, kind and smart as a whip. I worked with her closely for eight years with NCAHP. Jennie is to my immediate left in this photo, which pictures then-Gov Jim Hunt signing the "any prudent layperson" ER bill. Jennie will be sorely missed by many.

March 7, 2011

I send my deep sympathy and condolences to Jennie's family and legion of friends. I barely knew Jennie at Broughton (she was in the class behind mine, seems like we were in PE together one year). Not only am I impressed by all her accomplishments and achievements, but am also blown away by the outpouring of love from so many friends and colleagues. Jennie's was truly a life well-lived. I sincerely hope the Dorsett family has received some measure of comfort from all the condolence messages. I envy those of you who were in her circle of friends.

March 5, 2011

Jennie, the kindness and generosity you showed my family will never be forgoten. The times my family spent at your beach house over the last 11 years have given me some of the best memories of my life. A more accomplished or giving person i have yet to meet. May you be at peace. Kelly, Dee, Ashton and Peyton Norris

Benjamin Throop

March 4, 2011

We just heard of your passing this afternoon, Jennie, and it was a blow. May faith and love keep your family. Your smile and genteel manner will be sorely missed!

Gail Weil

March 4, 2011

Jennie was not only beautiful on the outside, she was even MORE beautiful on the inside. I can't express my sadness at the world's loss of such a wonderful and giving person.