Walter Leo Fields Jr., 92, passed away Aug. 28, 2017, in Cincinnati.
He was one of nine children of Mary Oma (Blandford) and Walter Fields Sr. He was born in Straughn, Indiana, May 3, 1925, and grew up in Batesville.
Walter was married to Dorothy Abbott of Fulton, Illinois, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his five children: Terry Fields, Blackshear, Georgia; Kim Fields and wife Karen, Vandalia, Ohio; Scott Fields and wife Sherry, Aurora, West Virginia; Susan Lightsey and husband Charlie, Blackshear, Georgia; and Mary Johnson and husband Mark, Fairfield, Ohio. He leaves behind six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three siblings.
The World War II veteran served in the Navy from 1944-46 and was stationed in the Pacific as an aerial gunner. Before the war, he played minor league baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. He then went on to attend Butler University to study physical education and was part of both the baseball and basketball teams, where he played under legendary coach Tony Hinkle. Later, he earned a master's degree from Purdue University.
Walter had a career in education that spanned 40 years. He began teaching and coaching at the high school level in Indiana at Earl Park, Batesville and Scecina Memorial. He also worked at Illinois Valley Community College, Edison State Community College and Marian University, where he held various administrative and coaching positions.
Walter is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame All-State Silver Anniversary Team, Butler University Hall of Fame, Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame and Marian University Athletic Wall of Fame. An endowed athletic scholarship was created in his name at Marian University in 2015.
Walter and Dorothy retired to her family's tree farm in Fulton, Illinois, in 1989. History, genealogy, farming, planting trees and caring for nature were his passions. He was an active humanitarian who sought to bring out the best in others.
A memorial visitation will be held Friday, Sept. 15, from 4-7 p.m. at Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home, Fulton, Illinois. A memorial Mass will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Albany, Illinois, followed with burial at Cottonwood Cemetery, Fulton. Memorial contributions can be made to the Marian University Walter Fields Endowed Scholarship Fund.
Published on September 6, 2017