KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) - A picture of 95-year-old Beatrice Dotson and her daughter Belinda has been shared with millions across the country after both women were gunned down during a shooting at a mall in Burlington, Washington on Friday evening.
"She was just a very, very special lady," Frank Purner, a friend of Dotson said while showing a picture of his late friend.
It is a picture forever etched in Purner's mind, who had known Dotson for decades.
He and his wife affectionately called her Bea.
"She was always upbeat," Purner said. "No matter what was going on she was not a complainer. She always had a very positive look on life. You couldn't go in her home and sit down and talk with her, and not leave without feeling a lot better."
Purner said Dotson lived next door to rental property he owned on East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport and still remembers their last conversations months ago.
"I talked with her (and) she had decided to move back to Seattle and live with one of her daughters," Purner said. "She was discussing the moving process."
Though hundreds of miles away from Kingsport, her friends said Dotson often visited Kingsport, attending Sunday service at her church.
Many of the people who knew Dotson and those from her old neighborhood are still too shaken up to talk about her.
"When it strikes home, it becomes real," Purner said.
Purner said he will never forget Dotson, and will continue to reflect on the many memories they shared over the years.
Dotson has family members in Washington State, and plans for a memorial service for Dotson and her daughter have not been made public.
Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.
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