Essie Mae Murrell, 90, entered her earthly journey on March 18, 1921, to the late Burnie and Ollie Shipman Strickland of High Point, NC. She was called home to be with her spiritual family on Friday, July 22, 2011.
Essie "Bird" grew up in High Point, NC and attended the Guilford County Public Schools. She regularly attended church services with her grandmother under the leadership of Rev. Bumcombe. She was employed with Dutch Laundry services until she met her soon to be husband, Carl Murrell who was serving in WWII Veteran at the time. During a long and blissful romance, the two were united in marriage in 1957.
During the time her husband was fighting for our country, Essie worked on the shipyard in Newport, News, VA. She served the soldiers and their families with delicious meals, often times she would brag about seeing and waving to the Queen of England during the war. After the war was over, she and Carl relocated back to their home to High Point, NC where she raised her family. Essie lived to see five generations of off springs. She assisted with the delivery of her great granddaughter, Brianna.
Essie was a homemaker, raising her children as well as adopting those in the neighborhood who called her "Ma Essie or Grandma." She rejoiced in being a mother as well as rejoining her church family at First Emmanuel Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. DD Mason. She sang on the Jubilee Choir and served as the church booking agent until health declined. She was loved and known for her smiling face, witnessing and cooking for others. We will truly miss her.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was also preceded in death by three sons, Ronny and Roger Strickland and Johnny Murrell, grandparents, Will and Francis Strickland, brother, Frank Strickland, sister, Doris Holmes, half-sister, Marva L. Stancil, three grandchildren, Nancy Douglas, Alfred Douglas Jr and Beverly Franklin.
She leaves to cherish her memories, four daughters, Barbara Franklin and Jacqueline Strickland both of the home, Sandra Strickland and Shirley (Alfred) Douglas Sr all of High Point, NC, one brother, Charles Strickland of Winston, Salem, NC, nine grandchildren, three of which she raised as her own, Anthony Strickland, Ollie Cobb and Bianca Franklin, twenty-seven great grandchildren, her best friend for many years, Alice Smith a host on nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.