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Thomas Ralph Fields

Thomas Ralph Fields
1931 - 2013
Thomas Ralph "Mouse" Fields passed away on October 22nd at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise Idaho. Tom, son of Ralph and Viola (Pottenger) Fields, was born on May 1, 1931, the oldest of four sons and was the great grandson of the late J.W. Pottenger, one of the founders of Roseberry. He attended school there until 1942 when the family moved to Meadows, Idaho.
It was in his younger years, after teasing a girl, that she called him a field mouse. Thus, he was forever known as Mouse. Mouse, and his buddy George Fitz, worked on cars which included installing a double transmission in a Dodge pickup and revitalized a notable Chalmers touring car. He graduated from Meadows Valley High School in 1949 and spent his summers right afterwards working for the Forest Service on a trail crew.
In 1952, Tom was drafted into the Army and fought in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 1954 and earned a Combat Infantry Badge, A Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, a UN Korea Medal.
On March 26, 1955 Tom and Barbara Peterson were married. They had three children, Joan, Judy, and James. The family lived in Cascade initially then moved back to New Meadows where they spent most of their years through Tom's retirement.
Tom worked for SPN Logging Company owned by his two uncles, Dick Spickelmire and Bill Pottenger out of Riggins, Idaho. By 1955, he transitioned to J.I. Morgan Logging Co. in New Meadows. Tom operated a skidding cat and drove truck until he was promoted to a foreman position in May of '69. Tom was a popular boss with his fellow workers and always knew how to put a smile on their faces. At the time his motto was "he worked cheap but he didn't work hungry." He retired after 38 years of logging. Tom was known for his special ability to splice cable and came to the rescue of the McCall Little Ski Hill in the late 80's and early 90's splicing the ski lift cable. This made him somewhat of a hero to the towns skiers!
Mouse was all heart and spent many hours volunteering his talents in his community, including the VFW and the New Meadows Senior Center. In his retirement years, he was known to never miss a high school sporting event earning the love and respect of the town folks as well as the students. He was honored at Meadows Valley Days celebration where he was selected and served as Grand Marshall.
Tom was considered a happy spirit as well as "one tough man." He survived four major strokes starting at around age 66 and to accommodate he drove his trademark green John Deere Gator with his walker in back. When one drove down Main Street and saw The Gator, you knew if you didn't pull in you were missing some good story telling.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, his parents and his two brothers, Larry of Boise and Claude of Cascade. He is survived by two daughters and a son, Joan (Glen) Cranor, Judy Hubbard, and James Fields. Also by grandchildren Naomi (Timm) Ferree and Emily (Ross) McAffee. Also his 4 great grandchildren; Sydney and William (Timm & Naomi) and O'Malley and Holly (Ross & Emily). Also by his brother, John (Roberta) of New Meadows and sister in laws, Naomi of Boise and Juanita of Cascade.
Tom's family would like to thank The Idaho State Veteran's Home and Heikkila Funeral Chapel for the great care they gave him.
Services will be held in his honor to celebrate his life on November 2nd at 1pm at the New Meadows High School. Potluck to follow services at The New Meadows Senior Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the New Meadows Senior Center.
Tom (Mouse, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle, Friend) you will be missed greatly and will forever be in our hearts.


Published in Idaho Statesman on Oct. 30, 2013
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