A Tribute to Family

I am a member of a large and complex extended family.  This post contains selective photographs of my parents, half-brothers and sisters, and other members of their several families.  The information herein is primarily of interest to my sons, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces, but I hope that others may also find it informative.

I am very blessed to have been born into my family.  That is something over which one has no control, but I thank the dear Lord for my good fortune.

I was the baby of the family.  There were seven half brothers and sisters, and the youngest, my brother Harold, was eight and a half years my elder. In a previous post I described how, as a young child, I was petted and pampered almost beyond belief.  If love ruins a child, by the time I was five years old I should have been spoiled beyond redemption.  But somehow, despite my many faults, I did not turn into a selfish monster.  Along with the hugs and kisses, my parents and siblings somehow communicated their behavioral expectations, and because of my love for them I was motivated to behave as they wished.  Of course, I was no angel.  I was often selfish and thoughtless, and I was guilty of venial sins, but I believe that most of my transgressions were of a minor nature.

As the pampered young prince of my household, I was as safe as a medieval lord protected by his battlements and moat.  But I learned very quickly that my privileged status did not extend far beyond the castle gates.  Outside I was just another one of the local urchins and thus subject to all the joys and vicissitudes of boyhood.  What grand times I had with the neighborhood boys and girls.  Of course, there were occasional troubles and conflicts, but I always had the love and support of family behind me.  I almost never called on them for succor, but I knew they were there – a constant refuge in time of need.  What a wonderful family it was – and is.

jr0 1925c saunders robert jordan, md

Saunders Jordan

(My Father)

1873-1958

Dad was 56 at the time of my birth, old enough to have been my grandfather. His first wife had died in 1926.  There were three children by his first marriage; the youngest, my sister Sallie, was 16 years old at the time of my birth.  I held my father in great awe and respect and loved him dearly.  He lived to see me a grown man with a wife and the first two of my five sons.

008 jr1 1943 annie belle jordan (2)

Annie Belle Rives Fields Jordan

(My Mother)

1891-1967

Mom became a widow, with four young children, at the age of 33 in 1924.  Four years later she married my father.  She was a wonderful mother, always loving and kind to everyone she met.  She lived to see my own little family complete, and all of us treasure her memory.

 

THE CLEMENT HOPKINS JORDAN FAMILY

JP10 1954 Clement Jordan (2)

Clement H. Jordan

(My Brother)

1903-1988

Clement was my father’s oldest son, and he was 26 when I was born.  I did not meet him until I was about 6 years old, and I had little opportunity to know him well.  However,  I respected him, and I was close to his daughter, Sara Katherine, who was born three months before me, in May 1929.  We graduated from high school together in 1947.

JP11 Katherine Kline

Katherine Kline

(Clement’s wife – circa 1923)

A warm, loving, vivacious woman.  Always a delight to be in her company.

JP111 1954 Sara Katherine Jordan

Sara Katherine

JP121 1954 Mary Clement Jordan

Mary Clement

JP130 1954 Clem Jordan Jr,

Clement Jr.

JP119 (2)

Jim & Sara Katherine Jordan Wild’s Sons

George, Clement, Scott, and Benjamin.

 

 

THE ROBERT SAUNDERS JORDAN FAMILY

JP20 1929c Robert S. Jordan

Robert Saunders Jordan, Jr.

(My Brother)

1906-1984

Robert was born in 1906.  He visited us often when I was a child, and I always looked up to him as a wonderful, supportive brother.  I also thoroughly enjoyed those times I spent with his beautiful family.

JP22 1980 Robert S & Bebe Jordan

Robert S. Jordan Jr. and wife Bebe

Bebe was from Roanoke Island, North Carolina, and her father John Daniels took the famous first photo of man in flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903.

 

JP29 1941

Robert and Bebe’s Children, 1941

Bobby (Robert III), Mary, Martha, & Sarah.

 

JP29 1954 Bebe, Robert, Mary, Sarah & Martha Jordan

Robert Jordan Jr., Bebe and Daughters 1954

Daughters Mary, Sarah, & Martha.

 

JP219 1975c Robert, Mary Beth & family

Robert S. Jordan III, Mary Beth and Family

Sons Mark, Luke, John, & Matthew

jp221

Martha Jordan Chukinas

JP231 1956 (Oct) Mary Jordan

Mary Jordan

1956

Mary, Martha’s twin, died during open heart surgery in 1961.

jp241

Sarah Jordan Buchanan

 

JP2339 2005 Elise and Andie LaGrone

The LaGrone Sisters

Granddaughters of Martha Jordan Chukinas.

 

JP2439

Sally Buchanan Alexander and Family

Daughter and granddaughters of Sarah Jordan Buchanan.

 

THE WALLACE WARE NEBLETT FAMILY

 

JP31 1939c Sallie Morgan Jordan

Sallie Morgan Jordan

(My Sister)

1913-2000

 

Sallie was a sweet, loving sister with a beautiful family.  We had infrequent contacts after her move to Mississippi following marriage to W. Ware Neblett, but my times with her were always special.

JP1 1913

Sarah Poindexter Jordan and Sallie Morgan

This photograph of my father’s first wife and daughter Sallie was taken in 1913.

JP39 1954 Neblett family (2)

Ware Neblett, Sallie Morgan Jordan Neblett and family.  Children are Sallie Ann, Kathleene, & W. Wallace {Skip}.  At Carolina Beach in 1954.

 

JP3229

Robert Saunders (Sandy) Neblett and Mandi

Sandy is the son of W. Wallace {Skip} and Margaret Neblett,  He and his wife, both MDs, serve as medical missionaries in Malaysia.

JP339 2012

Kathleene Neblett Shapley and Family

 

THE BRANCH TUCKER FIELDS FAMILY

 

FR10 1954 Branch & Ruth Fields- - Copy (2)

Branch Tucker Fields

(My Brother)

1915-2000

Branch was quite an athlete as a young man.  He left home for college when I was very young and then joined the Navy, but we had many good times together in later years.  He had a grand family and a warm, outgoing personality.

FR19 1951c Branch Fields family (2)

Branch and Ruth Fields and Family

Patrick, Ruth, Branch. Candace, Annie Belle, Branch Jr.

FR19 1980 Branch w Helen & Branch Jr family

Branch Sr. and Helen with Branch Jr. and Family

 

FR119 1979c Branch jr, Jaylene & family

Sarah,  Jaylene, Branch Jr, Molly, Branch III, and Hannah Fields

FR1129 2015c

Branch Fields III, Mya, And Family

FR1149 The Tell Family 2017

David and Hannah Fields Tell and Family

 

 

THE HENRY VANCE WARD FAMILY

FR21 1942c Florence Jean Fields - Copy

Florence Jean Fields

(My Sister)

2017-1991

I dearly loved my sister Florence, and she was very close to me during my childhood and teenage years.  In 1948 she married Henry Ward, and soon they had a family of three sons and one daughter, all very special people.

FR29 1962c Florence Ward & children (2)

Florence Fields Ward and Family

Van, Jacob, Bucky, and Jane Ward

FR29 Van and Bucky Ward (2)

Van and Bucky Ward (Henry Vance and Harold Fields Ward)

FR29 1982 Florence & Jacob Ward Christmas

Florence and Jacob Ward

FR229 Buck & Sandra Ward, Kathleen & Benjamin

Bucky Ward, Sandra, Benjamin and Kathleen

 

THE PAUL CARRUTH FAMILY

FR31 1944 - Copy (2)

Roberta Dalton Fields

(My Sister)

1919-2007

Berta was at home during my childhood, and she loved and pampered me to excess.  Naturally, I was crazy about her.  In 1944 she married the Rev. Paul Carruth, young pastor of the recently established Methodist church at Carolina Beach. There were four children, Ellen, Paul Jr., Robby, and Joy.

FR39 1954 Carruth family

Paul and Roberta Fields Carruth and family 1954

Berta, Paul Jr, Robby, Ellen, and Paul Sr.

FR311 Ellen Carruth

Ellen Carruth

1951

FR341 1978

Joy Carruth

1977

IMG_3643

Joy Carruth Kuhar and Ellen Carruth Luski

FR339 Paul, Kelly, Marlowe & Robert Carruth

Robert Carruth Family

Paul, Kelly, Marlowe, Robert

FR349 Kuhar (Mario, Joy, Rives, Dalton)

Mario and Joy Carruth Kuhar with Rives and Dalton

 

 

THE HAROLD RIVES FIELDS FAMILY

FR40 1944c Harold Rives Fields 1944 (2)

Harold Rives Fields

(My Brother)

1921-2005

Harold (Buck) was the closest sibling in terms of age, and I idolized him.  He was always very kind and loving toward me, my wife, and my sons.  I still miss him and think of him often.

FR42 1945 Betty & Harold Fields

Betty and Harold Fields

Betty was serving as a nurse at a military hospital in Britain while Harold was fighting his way (along with more than a million other Allied soldiers) across France and Germany.

FR40 1953 (Feb) Harold R. Fields & Sandy Jordan - Copy (3)

Harold Fields in 1953

FR49 1954 Harold R. Fields family (2)

Harold and Betty Fields with children Sarah and Charles, 1954

 

FAMILY REUNIONS

3bd3574e686823e7f058ff8a93de208d.jpg

Lake Junaluska

Our first family reunions were more than thirty-five years ago.  My dear brother Robert (Bob) Jordan had a Jordan family reunion at the King of the Sea restaurant in Danville, Virginia, in June 1979.  Various members of the family spoke about family history and memories.  The time we spent together was most enjoyable but all too brief.

During the summer of 1981, with help from other family members, my wife Ann arranged a big gathering of the Rives – Fields clans (plus a few Jordans) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We had a good turnout and a great time together. On that occasion, we had a bit more time to mingle and enjoy each other’s company.  The reunion ended with a festive dinner at the Back-Porch restaurant near Myrtle Beach.  We still have some excellent photographs of that occasion.

Our next family reunion was in the late summer of 1990 at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.  My beloved wife again put it all together, this time without my knowledge, as a birthday surprise for me.  This was the first of the combined Fields-Jordan-Rives affairs, and I still remember it as an incredible time of family fellowship.  Having all those warm, wonderful people together felt to me like a foretaste of heaven

In 1993 we met at Myrtle Beach again, and in 1996 we began our series of family reunions at Lake Junaluska in the mountains of western North Carolina.  We met there in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.  In my mind’s eye, there are many, many happy images of that place and of the faces of those beloved ones who are no longer with us.

A family reunion was held at Manteo, North Carolina, in the summer of 2007, and in October 2013, my sons Stuart and Harold organized another reunion.  They knew that my wife Ann was no longer able to travel, so the gathering was arranged at a hotel near Baltimore, Maryland.  I am so pleased that Ann could attend.  She had been the chief motivator in organizing the early family reunions – particularly the one at Myrtle Beach in 1981, Carolina Beach in 1990, and the first ones at Lake Junaluska.  Blessed be her memory.

Most recently, in June 2017, we had another wonderful gathering at beautiful Lake Junaluska.

Now I am about to close this paean to my family.  As I do so, my mind is filled with thoughts of how fortunate I have been to be a part of such a warm and caring family.  My mother and father created a home in which I always felt safe and cherished; and my brothers and sisters were all so exceedingly good to me.  I thank the good Lord for them, and I will always honor their memory as well as the remembrance of all those other family members who were so very dear to all of us.

It is my sincere wish that our children and our children’s children will carry on the tradition of these periodic family gatherings.  Get to know your cousins and your uncles and your aunts.  Remember our history.  Tell your stories.  Submit your photographs. Make your own contributions to this loving tribute to “our family”.

And, as Tiny Tim once said, “God bless us every one.”

Family Reunion 2017 (24)

Junaluska Reunion, 2017

family_black_by_dfmurcia

 

 

 

One thought on “A Tribute to Family

  1. There is the saying that ”a picture is worth a thousand words, ” but your narrative around these family photos makes this post a truly valuable legacy for your wonderful family

    Like

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