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Ora Nelle Shockley Fields, born on April 27, 1923, in Apalachee, Georgia, passed away at the
age of 100 on July 26, 2023 at Emory Hospital. She had resided in Decatur, Georgia for the last
forty-nine years. She was the daughter of William T. Shockley and Mattie Martyn Shockley. Ora
Nelle was named after her mother’s and father’s oldest sisters. Ora Nelle was a faithful servant
of the Lord and had a very strong faith.
Growing up in Apalachee, she made an impact on friends, family, and her church family at
Apalachee Methodist Church where she was very active. As a child, she could only afford roller
skates that she rode on the packed dirt road in front of her house and on the concrete walkway
in front of the three Apalachee stores across from the train depot. She loved her hometown and
continued to visit accompanied by her son, Martin, when she could, especially at Homecoming
in September and the Christmas dinner in December. She always recalled her times at her
home church and how it had nurtured her during her formative years.
Ora Nelle was a lifelong learner and taught herself to play piano by ear. A cousin, Pete, recalled
that she played the piano with gleeful abandon, constantly smiling as she played. She attended
the Madison Business School and Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky with funding for
orphans and help from friends in the community. She later attended Georgia Evening College in
Atlanta. She moved to Atlanta around the age of 20-21 living first in a boarding house in Grant
Park and later at a Christian boarding house on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta.
She was a trailblazer working at some jobs when it was not common for a woman. Her
occupations included using a planimeter to measure aerial maps of crop fields for the purpose
of governmental taxation, requisition work during the Cuban Missile Crisis at Ft. Stewart while
her husband pastored First Baptist at Glennville (one of three churches he pastored over the
years), clerical work at Ft. Gillem, and worked at HUD in Atlanta while her husband worked at
the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Ora Nelle was predeceased by her husband, Rev. George W. Fields, Jr, whom she met in
Atlanta while visiting Virginia Rung, a block from Margaret Mitchell’s house. George was smitten
with her and convinced her to have their first date at the final US Army War Bonds Show of
WWII at Ponce de Leon Park. Afterwards, they ate at a small cafe on the corner of Ponce de
Leon and Peachtree in the Fox Theater Complex that is still there today. His love for her was not
deterred, and she finally said yes to his proposal after the fourth try. They married on May
30,1946, at the Apalachee Methodist Church and remained married for 72 years before his
death. Another cousin, Barbara, recalls that Ora Nelle and George were truly a “couple.” They
especially enjoyed their retirement years together while traveling and camping all over the
country where she co-drove their 1992 GMC van and Airstream trailer 13,000 miles across the
Rockies, the Alcan Highway, Nome, AK, and back to Nova Scotia before heading down the east
coast. She loved to tell stories of these adventures.
know her was to love her. A cousin described Ora Nelle’s constant, almost impish, smile that
always adorned her face just ready to burst into laughter. She took joy in her life’s journey and
loved her family. Another cousin recalled Ora Nelle’s wonderful, accurate memories of family
members and past family events. She shared these stories in great detail which allowed the
younger Shockleys to have a clearer picture of the past. Her son Martin remembers her love of
Braves baseball, the NASCAR Cup Series, and Indy 500 races. She was also known to have a
love of Mexican, Jimmy Johns Roast Beef subs topped off with alfalfa sprouts and yellow
mustard, chips and root beer, Candler Park Market’s Chicken Caesar Salad, toaster oven baked
salmon, Publix almond butter between vanilla wafers, Nestle Drumsticks ‘Lil Drums ice cream,
and Publix deli Mini Muffins. One of her favorite pastimes was looking out the den window at the
Fernbank wildlife in her backyard when the sun was low and shining horizontally through the
leaves of the maple trees.
Martin remembers her arriving home from the dentist once and hearing the most joyful and long
laughter he ever heard from her as she was playing with her new Baby Tabby kitten. This was
the day before her 2nd stroke on July 14, 2023. Tabby made her so happy as he playfully
chased her cane that she pulled across the floor. He would often jump straight up in the air or
spring out making a surprise attack. She loved every minute.
She will truly be missed after the impact she made during her 100 years, but she is rejoicing
with the angels at the feet of her Lord Jesus Christ.
She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, two older sisters( Elizabeth and Evelyn),
and by an older brother (Perry) and her oldest brother (Thomas Martyn).
She is survived by her children: Louis Paul Fields, Rebecca Ann Fields Hall, and Martin Cargile
Fields. She also leaves five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Services are Saturday, August 5, at Apalachee United Methodist Church with the Viewing at
10:00 followed by the Service at 11:00. Burial will be at the Apalachee Cemetery and followed
by a Reception Luncheon at the church