Mexie McGill Ryals Fields was born on August 3, 1931 to the late Joseph and Veronner McGill in Siler City, North Carolina. Our beloved entered into eternal rest on May 9, 2019 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. She was educated in the public schools of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and was a proud graduate of E. E. Smith Senior High School, class of 1949.
Her early years of employment included a position as a cashier at Ross Food Center. She was an exemplary employee and was asked to train others in the role of cashier. Many of those she trained were able to secure stable jobs in the workforce. At the time, Fayetteville State University offered training for cashiers and Mexie was asked to be one of the instructors. Her true calling was that of "caregiver." Years later she relocated to New Jersey where she attended and graduated from the School of Psychiatric Nursing in Greystone Park, Newark, NJ. She returned to Fayetteville and worked in the field of nursing at the E. Newton Smith Health Department. She retired after 25 years of devoted and loyal service.
At an early age she was baptized at Haymount Presbyterian Church and remained a faithful member until the time of her death. She loved her church dearly and held many positions there, including: Secretary of the Sunday School, Secretary of the Golden Leaf Club, Chancel Choir Soloist, Chair of Trustee Board, Chair of Deacon Board, "Emeritus Deacon" for Care of Sick and Shut-ins, Chair of Homecoming Committee, Presbyterian Women "Woman of the Year," Former President of Chancel Choir and Presbyterian Certified Congregational Nurse. Her personality and giving spirit were exemplified throughout the community. She was a life member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary, a member of the American legion, a lifetime member of the NC Public Health Association and the Stanberry Community Club.
She touched the lives of many, and helped some to reach their goals because of her presence in their lives. She was truly her brothers' and sisters' keeper. In addition to helping others, she was an avid sportsperson. She loved softball, bowling and basketball, and her many trophies attest to that.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Veronner McGill, two brothers, Horace and Wilbur McGill, and three sisters, Doris Grady Sowell, Georgia Chatman and Mary L. McCallum.
She is survived by her three children: Horace C. Ryals (Kathleen), Charles Ryals and Bonita Gavin (James); seven grandchildren, Charles Ryals, Jr., Tamika Ryals, Cornelia Zanders (Robertino), James Gavin, Jr., Shakeena Ryals, Theresa Brown (Rodney) and Latisha McCoy (Calvin), and 15 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a loving cousin, Naomi Ruck, several nieces and nephews, devoted friends, Betty A. Marrs, Nina Stephens, Bernice Vinson, Nannie Young, and Franzetta Grandison, "adopted" daughters, Wanda Battle and Gloria Johnson (Jacob), step-daughters, Julia Clarke and Tanekia Harris (Eugene), sisters-in-law, Gladys Gilmore (Herman) and Catherine Raynor; and brother-in-law, Dannie McCallum, Jr., a host of other relatives and many, many friends.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, FRIENDS ARE ASKED TO MAKE DONATIONS TO HAYMOUNT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 2760 ROSEHILL ROAD, FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, 28301.