Frances Bertina North was born on September 29, 1919 in Shreveport LA to the union of Alex and Priscilla North. She was the second of six, born to this union. She attended elementary and high school in Shreveport, LA. She accepted Christ at the early age of 13, when she was baptized.
Frances began her employment in 1935 at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, LA, the year Social Security was signed into law. She moved to Seattle, WA in 1943 and united with Mt. Zion Baptist Church where she remained an active member for 75 years. She has served on numerous committees and held several offices including past President of the Women’s Ministry.
She went to work at Best Apparel, now known as Nordstrom and in 1952 she became the first African American employee allowed to work on the sales floor. After 21 years of stock control, salon sales, fashion show coordination and encouragement from her boss, she went to work for the Seattle Public Schools. She was an Informational Specialist, training and assisting people in crisis intervention, desegregation, rumor control and human relations.
In 1973 she was appointed by Mayor Wes Ulman to the Seattle 2000 Commission to help envision and plan the city for the year 2000. She also served on the Coalition for Quality Integrated Education, helping to organize over 500 volunteers. After 31 years, she retired but continued to promote equality, volunteer and mentor youth.