Dude Jasper Jr. added to father’s restaurant legacy

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Dude Jasper Jr. was working on the East Coast when his wife, Charlene, said “take me home.”

She wasn’t the only one homesick, so the couple packed up and returned to Brookhaven.

His father, Dude Sr., had opened Dude’s Sausage & Biscuits, and Dude Jr. worked there before taking over the business when his father retired.

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Dude Jr.’s daughter, Amanda, remembered how her father had to get up early in the morning – not to make the donuts, as that old commercial used to say – but to make the biscuits; and the bacon; and the sausage; and the eggs.

It was the same routine, every day except Sunday.

“We all kind of helped out, but Daddy had to get up really early because we lived in Dentville, about 45 miles away,” Amanda said of the 300-acre homestead where many of her family members still live. “He worked six days a week and said he always wished he had more time to spend with family.”

Amanda said everyone who worked at the business was “family,” including the couple who eventually bought the business in 2016 when Dude Jr. himself retired: Dinki and Jimmy Davis.

“My mother and I started working there in 1981, I believe, but it’s never really been a ‘job,’” Dinki Davis said. Her mother worked for Dude’s for some 40 years and just recently passed away.

“We became family and remain that way today. Countless friendships have formed in that little block building and I just can’t imagine my life without them.”

Dude Jasper Jr. died May 2 at Baptist Hospital in Jackson. He was 70 years old. “We are at peace because we knew he was ready,” daughter Amanda said her father’s death. “He was lost without Mama – they were married for 47 years. She died in 2016 and he didn’t know what to do with himself after she left. We even had to teach him how to use the washer and dryer. He had no clue.”

She added that her father was devout and enjoyed his membership at Pine Bluff Baptist Church. That’s where his visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and noon to 1 p.m. Friday, with the funeral at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Pine Bluff Cemetery.

Amanda said none of Dude’s children were interested in taking over the business when the time came, but they are happy with how things turned out.

“We knew how long and how hard he worked,” she said. “Dinki’s family worked with him for years and years and we felt comfortable with them buying the business.”

Dinki herself feels comfortable carrying on the legacy. “We are so blessed with the best customers anyone could have and Dude Sr. was like a father to me – and Dude Jr., a brother,” she said.