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Chester James Fields Jr.

1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Chester James Fields Jr. Obituary

Chester James Fields, Jr., died peacefully in his home in Loma Rica on September 24, 2016. He was 89. Chet was born in South Haven, Michigan, on June 19, 1927, the only child of Chester and Lucille Fields. Chet was later raised by his maternal grandparents, John and Claire Mann, in Manila, Utah, where he was permitted to graduate high school early so to serve in World War II. He enlisted in the Navy in the beginning of 1945. He served in the Pacific and sailed into Tokyo Bay two weeks after the war's end. He began an honorable and distinguished career in the Navy, rapidly rising through the ranks as an enlisted man and becoming a commissioned officer in 1957. Along the way, he also served in the Korean War and in the Vietnam War.

Newly divorced and with eight children to raise as a single father, Chet retired from his beloved Navy in the summer of 1968 and moved with his children to La Grande, Oregon. There, Chet began college at Eastern Oregon College and later graduated with a bachelor's degree. During that time, he met Ruth Taylor Bean and her three young children. Ruth and Chet married on October 12, 1970, combining their family to 11 children.

Along the way, four more children were born to the couple, raising the total to 15 children. During this time, Chet and Ruth moved first to Pocatello, Idaho and then to Billings, Montana. There, Chet taught high school students and was in charge of the Navy Junior ROTC Program in both high schools in Billings. The couple then moved with their crew of children to Bozeman, Montana, where Chet intended to further pursue graduate studies.

After a short time there, Chet was called back to California to care for his mother. Chet relocated his family to Loma Rica in 1978 and the couple has remained there since and the children have all grown.

Chet is preceded in death by his parents and by daughter Celia Larson (Rick) of Anaheim. Chet is survived by his beloved wife and companion, Ruth, and by 14 of their children, John Fields (Linda) of Sacramento; Cathy Penn of La Grande, Oregon; Cindy Jones (Harry) of Browns Valley; Cole Fields (Nancy) of La Grande, Oregon; Debbie Adrian (Dan) of Peru, Illinois; Leif Fields (Jacki) of Gridley; Troy Bean (Kathy) of Snohomish, Washington; Laura Nelson of Fountain Valley; Linda Marion of Liberty, Missouri; Toni Luke (Ron) of Yuba City; Jason Fields (Sarah) of Post Falls, Idaho; Ramie King (Roland) of Burlington, Washington; Jamie Fields of Loma Rica; and Julie Fields of Yuba City; 43 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Chet valued personal honor, and himself was an honorable man. He loved the Navy, this nation and the American West. Above all, he loved Ruth and each of their children, taking great pride and joy in their families and successes.

A graveside service and celebration of Chet's life, for family members, with a military honor guard, will be held on September 30, 2016.

Arrangements are being handled by Lipp and Sullivan Funeral Directors in Marysville.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Sept. 30, 2016
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