Anneli Valtonen Dotson, former Southern Baptist missionary to Zimbabwe and Namibia, died Oct. 4. She was 92.
Dotson was born in Finland and felt a missions call on her life from a young age. She became a registered nurse and a midwife, and in 1960, she boarded a ship and headed to her first missionary posting to Namibia in the Kalahari Desert.
A few years later, she married Clyde Dotson — a native of Florence — and joined him in his Baptist missionary work in Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe). During her missionary career, she served alongside her husband, ministering through medical clinics and evangelism. She was fluent in multiple languages and served tirelessly to show the love of Christ to the people of Rhodesia.
Although Dotson had to leave the mission field in 1971, she never relinquished her missionary calling. She actively promoted missions in both Finland and the U.S. and faithfully spoke about Jesus wherever she went. For as long as she was able, she served at Grace Baptist Church, Oxford, and was actively involved in Woman’s Missionary Union.
Dotson was preceded in death by her husband; stepdaughters, Lolete and Margaret; and stepson, John. She is survived by her stepdaughters, Ruth, Betty, Grace and Joy; 19 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.