On June 21, 2019, Martha Frances Wade Fields Morton, 93, of Oxford, North Carolina, went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ. Frances was born in Wayne County, the third child and first daughter of Walter Ray and Pearl Atkins Wade. She “came up hard”; as a child of Depression era sharecroppers, she worked in the fields from an early age. As the Wade family expanded to include six boys and six girls, Frances served as a surrogate mother to her younger siblings. In 1944 she graduated from Snow Hill High School and went to work for Liggett and Myers Tobacco in Durham. When her soldier boyfriend William Wayne Fields returned from World War II, she married him on November 24, 1945. The couple had three daughters and one son: Carolyn, Doris, Linda and Ronnie. In 1951, Frances and Wayne moved to Durham, where, save for a nine-month hiatus, Frances resided until 1993. In 1959, Wayne died; three years later Frances married James Earl Morton, Sr., a widower with three children: Jimmy, Clifton and Ellen. After the marriage, Frances and Earl produced a daughter, Martha. In 1993, Frances and Earl moved to Oxford, North Carolina. Earl died in 2005.
Throughout her adult life, Frances remained a devout Christian. She contributed liberally, in both time and money, to every congregation with which she was affiliated: Sherron Acres Free Will Baptist Church (Durham), Immanuel Free Will Baptist Church (Durham) and Fellowship Baptist Church (Creedmoor). Frances definitely placed Jesus first in her life.
In addition to her parents and her husbands, Frances was preceded in death by her brothers James, Harry, Hiram and Milton, and her sister Louise; others preceding her demise included her daughter Doris Isles, sons Ronnie Fields and Jimmy Morton, and grandson Brent Fields. She is survived by her sisters Myrtie, Hilda, Peggy and Jane, as well as brothers Donald and Carlton. Frances is also survived by four daughters: Carolyn McEvers (Michael) of Ocoee, Florida; Linda Martin (James, Sr.) of Buies Creek; Ellen Williams (Steve) of Oxford; and Martha Gore (Dale) of Durham—and by a son, Clifton Morton. Other survivors include her daughter-in-law, Susan Fields, and son-in-law, Joe Isles.
Frances’ surviving grandchildren include Heather Larnach, Kristie Hayes, Kaila Wiles, Erin McEvers, Shelley Whitehead, Rhone Gore, James Martin, Jr., Stacey Willis, Amanda Gore, Ashley Lewis, Stefanie Gore and Wesley Gore. Her great-grandchildren include Lauren Hayes, Andrew Hayes, Londyn Whitehead, Kelsey Willis, Luke Wiles, James Willis, Camden Fields, Josselyn Lewis, Theodore Lewis, Teagan Willis and Pierson Lewis.
Funeral Services will be held on Monday, June 24, 2019, at 2:00 pm at Fellowship Baptist Church, 5112 Beaver Dam Rd., Creedmoor, NC. The family will receive guests one hour prior to the service, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Burial will be held in Snow Hill Cemetery, Snow Hill, NC, on Tuesday, June 25th at 1:00 pm.
Online Memorials: www.HallWynne.com