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Passages: Memorial service for Sue Fields to be held Feb. 16

February 10, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Suzanne Schoenfeldt Fields, the wife of our Life Trustee and former Board Chair Fred Fields, died on February 4, 2010, in Indian Wells, California.

A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be said at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (St. Mary’s Cathedral) at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., will be the principal celebrant, and Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, C.S.C., will preach. Sue’s cousin, Fr. Jerry Cobb, S.J., will concelebrate along with priests from the Archdiocese and the Congregation of Holy Cross. A reception will follow at 12:30 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum in the Suzanne Fields Ballroom. Burial will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Riverview Abbey Funeral Home Directors.

Individually and together, Sue and Fred have been at the forefront of business, education, community service, and philanthropy in our city, state, and region for many decades. Their generosity has had a lasting impact on academic leadership and innovation at Lewis & Clark. Their gifts helped endow our Morgan S. Odell Professorship in Humanities, led to the construction of the Fred W. Fields Center for the Visual Arts, and time and again set the pace for philanthropy that supports our students and faculty.

A native Oregonian and graduate of the University of Oregon, Sue was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Portland, serving in that capacity since 1995. Her dedication to the university was deeply rooted: her grandfather Colonel David Dunne was a major benefactor when the university was founded in 1901, and her late brother, the Reverend Arthur Schoenfeldt C.S.C., was a beloved pastoral resident there for many years. To honor Fr. Art and the family legacy at the university, Sue and Fred contributed substantial gifts that led to the building of two residence halls, which were dedicated last September.

Sue and Fred married in Portland in 1958. Over the years Sue traveled widely with her husband in support of his many business ventures, most notably as he built Coe Manufacturing, a supplier of wood products machinery, into an innovative company with global reach.

She was also a successful businesswoman in her own right. For 18 years she co-owned and operated Thorpe Draperies, an interior decoration firm in Portland. Following her retirement, she devoted her time and considerable energies to a large number of organizations and activities in the community.

Sue was a member of the University Club, the Arlington Club, and the Waverly Country Club, and had served on the board of the Portland Art Museum, the Boys and Girls Aid Society, the Oregon Humane Society, and the Seminary Tea, among others. Survivors include her husband, Fred, and numerous cousins.

The Fields Center for the Visual Arts came into being after 20 years of dreaming and planning. At its dedication on February 28, 1997, our entire community was invited to “take pride in our persistence and be grateful for those who have worked with us.” Certainly we are all grateful and indebted to our great friend Sue Fields, whose life and work leave all of us a legacy rich in personal warmth and selfless service.


Jane Monnig Atkinson
Interim President