On the morning of Saturday, March 30th God chose to call his beloved child Eva Jean Francis home. She preferred to be called by her middle name Jean, and was affectionately known to family, friends and even strangers as, “Mama Jean”.
E. Jean Francis was born in North Hampton County, North Carolina to the late Bessie M. (Murphy) and Jack Sumler. God called her home on the morning of March 30th 2019. While we grieve for our lost, we take comfort in knowing that she is in the arms of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was the fourth of six children (two brothers and three sisters). At a young age, her family moved to Portsmouth, Virginia were she attended Portsmouth Public Schools. In 1951, she relocated to New York at the age of 18 where she would reside for the next 60 years of her life. She met the love of her life, David Francis while in New York. They were united in marriage for over 56 years and resided in Great Neck, NY until he predeceased her in death in 2014. She worked for Manhasset Public Schools of New York before retiring in 2003 when her health began to decline. Shortly thereafter she returned home to Virginia to live with her beloved sister, Beatrice “Snook” Jackson.
Mama Jean was deeply loved and cherished for the generosity, kindness, and unselfish love that she freely shared with family and friends. She was a free spirit, always willing to share her love, advice and laughter with all those around her. She loved to travel and had been several times to the Caribbean Isles. She was even known as Mama Jean by the Sentara Nursing Center staff nurses who often came to her for life advice.
She leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Missionary Shirley Stewart (Irving) of Chesapeake, VA. Two grandchildren, Dr. Travonia B. Hughes (Donald) of Suffolk, MD; and James L. Brown of Chesapeake, VA; great grand-son James P. Hughes and adopted daughter, Wilma Renee Scott of Chesapeake, VA. She was predeceased by her beloved spouse, David Francis, and parents, Bessie (Murphy) and Jack Sumler, two brothers, Clifton Murphy of Westbury, NY, and Thomas L. Sumler of Baltimore, MD and three sisters, Beatrice Jackson, Lois Morgan, and Daisy Mae Perryman of Portsmouth, VA. She is survived by two sister-in-law’s, Janet Murphy of Westbury, NY, and Helene Jones of Chesapeake, VA and many life-long friends. She also leaves to cherish her memory a host of nieces, nephews, godchildren, family and friends.