Mattie Bell Morton Whitaker born to Abraham Lincoln Morton and Sallie Terry Sykes Morton on July 11, 1935, in Halifax County, North Carolina. In her mother’s previous marriage, there were ten children born. In her last marriage, one daughter was born, Mattie Bell Morton. She answered God’s summon to her eternal home on Monday evening, August 17, 2015, at Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
During her early years, Mattie professed faith in Jesus Christ, was baptized, and became a life-long, dedicated member of the Carters Chapel Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, where she sang in the choir. She enjoyed attending Bible study each week at the home of Catherine R. Brown. Her formal education was received in the Halifax County Public School System, and she was a 1955 graduate of the former John Armstrong Chaloner High School in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
She was united in Holy Matrimony to Amos Whitaker. This union was blessed with four children, Phyllis, Monia, Terry, and one who preceded her in death, Morton Laquient Whitaker.
Mattie worked very hard and decided to go back to school so she could further assist with the family’s needs. She was a seamstress, made most of her children’s clothing, and always made sure they had good food to eat. She became employed at Fanny’s and Hildia’s Fashion House, and Nichols Jewelry Box of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and Jay Too Garment Factory in Littleton, North Carolina. She was also a CNA, caring for the sick and shut-in, a Teacher’s Assistant, and owned and operated Mattie’s Beauty Salon. One of her greatest joys was baking goods to share with her family, friends and neighbors, and she never met a stranger.
Mattie always kept children. Some of the older ones she raised were David Allen, Robin and John Crumpler, and Richard Eason. During her later years, she became a nanny to Reese and Ryan Crawley.
Mattie started singing with her siblings at the tender age of two years old. She later formed the Mattie Whitaker Singers with her children and her niece, Patricia Jergede. They made two recordings and also performed on live TV. She sang with The Carrie Harrison Singers, The Simmons Grove Choir, The Joyful Sounds and The United Voices. The most fulfilling to her was singing with the Sykes Sisters, her family.
To know her was to love and treasure her, and those left to forever cherish the precious memories of her life and love are her two daughters, Phyllis Jones (Otha) of Raleigh, NC, and Monia Hafiz (Asghar) of the home; her devoted son, Terry Whitaker (Doris) of Baltimore, MD; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; another daughter-in-law; a special goddaughter, Laura Crawley; two sisters, Pecola Fitts and Daisy Johnson of Brooklyn, NY; one brother, Willie R. Sykes of Raleigh, NC; two sisters-in-law; three step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; her special cousins, Harold Richardson, Mary Grant, and Melba Belfield; and a host of nieces, nephews, other cousins, and many, many special friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, August 23, 2015, at Robinson Funeral Home Chapel, 215 US Highway 158, Littleton, NC. Bishop Fred Martin, Sr. will eulogize and Elder Leroy Jefferson will assist. Burial will follow in the Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids, NC. The body will repose until 8:30 P.M. at the funeral home on Saturday, August 22, 2015.