Former auto dealer, Natchezian dies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 7, 2009

NATCHEZ — Normally, car salesmen don’t have great reputations.

But today the friends and family of Clarence Edward Dossett are gathering to remember the life a great car salesman — and a great guy.

During the 1960s, Dossett owned and operated several automobile dealerships in the Miss-Lou.

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While he lived and raised his family in Natchez, Dossett died Wednesday in Houston, where he has lived for the past 10 years.

His love of auto sales spread through his family. Several of his family members went on to run their own dealerships across the state.

Andrew Eidt worked with Dossett for more than 20 years when Dossett bought his first dealership in 1960, until he retired in the late 1980s.

“He was a great man to work for,” Eidt said. “And he was an excellent salesman; he knew how to treat the customers.”

Kenny Jackson, who now manages Great River Nissan, worked for the Dossett family for 14 years.

And like Eidt, Jackson remembers Dossett as having a special relationship with customers.

Jackson said while Dossett’s sales style influenced his own, Dossett’s can’t be replicated.

“He had a charisma you really couldn’t copy,” he said.

But for some, Dossett was more than a salesman.

Marilyn Bowen, Dossett’s daughter, said she remembers her father as the man who had a smile and a joke for everyone.

“He just loved to see people smile,” Bowen said. “And he had a joke for anyone who would listen. He’s probably telling God a joke right now.”

Dossett was 86.