Charles Warren Fields
Dec. 9, 1914 – March 21, 2017
Charles Warren “Charlie” Fields, 102, passed away at Ontario, OR, on March 21, 2017, from causes incident to age. He was born Dec. 9, 1914 in Yelm, Wash., to Robert Ellsworth Fields and Emma Estella Beazer Fields. He was the youngest of five children, a sister Beatris who died at 3 years of age, and brothers Hubert, Eugene and Arlie. His siblings were born in Kansas.
Charlie graduated from Yelm High School and enjoyed playing football and baseball. He also enjoyed motorcycles and rode one from Yelm to Vale when his parents moved there. They developed a 60-acre farm out of the sagebrush on Graham Boulevard, where they built a home and raised livestock and crops.
In 1935 he met Violet LaVelle “Vi” Nelson of Vale and they were married in Boise, Idaho on August 17, 1935. Their first son Charles Wesley was born on July 4, 1936. Their second son David Allen was born on January 29, 1948.
Charlie was gifted mechanically and could repair and operate anything including heavy equipment. He and Arlie worked for an International Harvester dealership, and he was also a “sub dealer” for Harley Davidson in Ontario.
That gave him a demo motorcycle and he rode many miles with his friends George Troy and Bruce Hunt.
In 1938, an accident on Brogan Hill put him and Vi in the hospital and brought an end to the bike riding. In 1939, he worked for Olson Mfg. Co. in Boise as a service man and mechanic, then in 1942 for Morrison Knudson as a mechanic, as they were building the Anderson Ranch Dam east of Mountain Home. Also in 1942, with World War II in progress, he worked as a mechanic on Kodiak Island where they were building airstrips.
After a short stay in Valley Junction, Ore., they came back to Vale where they built a home and repair shop on the farm, and then he had a shop near a home they bought in town. When Arlie’s wife Sally died in 1944, they brought his daughter Sandra into their home until Arlie married Kathryn Barclay in 1948.
In 1947 he and George Troy built Service Center, a general repair shop on A Street in Vale, and in 1949, his brother Arlie bought George’s interest in the business. During these years Vi did the bookkeeping and worked at the counter. They sold Willy’s Jeeps and Ford vehicles and also bought two trucks to haul lumber from the Ironside mill to various outlets in the Treasure Valley. In 1955, Charlie bought Arlie’s interest in the business. In 1957 he sold Service Center and began a career with the Bureau of Land Management, lasting until his retirement in 1979.
In 1962, they built a home on Alder Road west of Vale where they enjoyed a beautiful view of the valley and entertained family and friends. In 1966 he accepted an opportunity to spend three months in Nigeria with the
International AID program. It was a rewarding experience but he and Vi were glad when that three months was over.
Charlie liked to hunt and fish, and he and Vi loved to travel and camp and spent many weekends with their travel trailer on rivers and lakes in Eastern Oregon with friends. They traveled with friends to Europe, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and across the U.S. They took several annual salmon fishing trips to Whidbey Island, Wash., with David and Audrey.
They liked to go to the Oregon Coast and Eastern Idaho to visit with their sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. Charlie enjoyed helping the boys with many projects at their homes over the years. He cut and polished rocks and later was a gifted woodworker and enjoyed building many things in his basement workshop. Many family members and friends treasure his creations of clocks, shelves, end tables, cabinets, china hutches, and work benches in their homes. They enjoyed raising their boys and encouraged them to be successful in their careers, good citizens, husbands and fathers.
Since March of 2012, Charlie and Vi have resided at Maria Osuna’s Adult Foster Care facility in Vale, and they and their family are very grateful for Maria’s tender loving care and the assistance of her husband, Juan.
Charlie is survived by his wife Vi; sons Wesley (Carol) and David (Audrey); grandchildren, Clark (Leisa) Fields, Tony (Robyn) Fields, Terri (Wade) Frost, Kenny (Leanna) Lange, and Jeff (Tena Lange; nieces and nephews Buster (Norma) Fields, Collette Gunkel, Robert (June) Fields, Gary (Irene) Fields, Yvonne Miller, SanDee Oliver, Don Nelson and Kay (Phil) Ryan; 15 great-grandchildren; and 19-great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his three brothers and their wives, Hubert (Florence), Eugene (Florabelle), and Arlie (Kate); nephews Ronald Fields and Richard Nelson, Mike Gunkel; niece Sally Fields; daughter-in-law Mary Jenkins Fields; great-grandson Rhett Fields; and one great-great-granddaughter.
Viewing was at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 25, with service at 11 a.m. and burial at Valley View Cemetery in Vale. Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale, was in charge of arrangements.
Ford Nelson, 91, of Vale, died Wednesday, March 22. Arrangements are pending Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Ontario.