Fields Leaves Enduring Legacy
November 21, 2013
Fred W. Fields, a staunch friend and advocate for Lewis & Clark for more than a quarter century, died December 13, 2011, at age 88.
Born in 1923, Fields grew up on a farm near Alexandria, Indiana. He began his college studies at Ball State and Indiana universities before being drafted into the Army Air Force during World War II. For nearly four years, he taught instrument flying and navigation. After the war, he resumed his studies in mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
In 1947, Fields went to work as a junior engineer with Coe Manufacturing Company. That association grew into a lifelong commitment, as he advanced through the management ranks and eventually bought the company from its founding family. His work with Coe brought him to the West Coast. In 1958, he married Portlander Suzanne Schoenfeldt. Together they gave generously of their time and treasure to many charities. Their long and happy life together ended with Sue’s death in February 2010.
Fields joined the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees in 1985 and served for 21 years. From 2001 to 2004, he served as board chair. As a life trustee, he remained deeply involved in the college, providing counsel to its leadership and support for our students.
In 1990, Fields completed a match for a challenge grant that established the Morgan S. Odell Professor- ship in the Humanities. In 1993, he pledged the lead gift for the Fred W. Fields Center for the Visual Arts. These are just two of his many contributions of financial support, wisdom, time, and leadership for which the Lewis & Clark community will long be grateful.
“Fred cared deeply about Lewis & Clark,” says President Barry Glassner. “Few have been more supportive of our efforts. His philanthropy and leadership set an inspiring example for others.”
Fields requested that his memorial service be held at Lewis & Clark. His service will take place on January 21 at 2 p.m. in Agnes Flanagan Chapel, with a reception following.