THE REV. LADD B FIELDS
Ladd B Fields, 94, of Hendersonville, died September 12, 2019, at Carolina Village Medical Center after a fall in Late July.
He was born to Ross Fields and Tressie Best Fields in Washita County, Oklahoma. “Laddie B”, his legal name, was the younger brother of Marston (Mark), Frances, and Josephine (Jo). He survived diphtheria as an infant, and during childhood knew the hardship of growing up on a farm in southwestern Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Graduating from Port School at age 17, he was valedictorian of his graduating class. He majored in engineering physics at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. While at OU, he turned 18 and was drafted, serving in the Army Air Corps stationed in England, 1943-1945. He was wounded on his 28thmission as a B-17 tail gunner and was awarded the Purple Heart. After the war, he returned to OU and completed his bachelor’s degree.
In 1947, he married June Mullinax, from Pampa, Texas. They settled in Borger, where Ladd worked for Phillips Petroleum Company. Their daughters were born in the early 1950s. A son, born in 1969, was adopted as an infant later in Houston.
Having relocated to Pasadena, Texas, in the early 1960s, Ladd and June both experienced a spiritual transformation in their lives. They were drawn to a community of faith at Church of the Redeemer Episcopal in Houston, where the family was involved in the life of the community for a number of years and where Ladd served as parish administrator. For a few years, Ladd and June lived in other Episcopal communities, sharing in church, community, and personal renewal with others seeking a life of active faith. In his early 50’s he heard a call to the priesthood, attended Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, and was ordained a priest in the early 1980s. He and June returned to Church of the Redeemer where Ladd served as assistant rector and later rector for 10 years.
In 1984, June died of cancer, and in 1990 Ladd married Ellen Wood. After Church of the Redeemer, Ladd served at St. Alban’s, Houston. When he retired, he and Ellen moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina, after visiting Western North Carolina on their honeymoon trip and falling in love with the area. They enjoyed frequent walks along mountain streams to waterfalls. Ladd derived great pleasure in his organic vegetable garden first using hand tools before neighbors offered help with their power tools. He enjoyed playing bridge into his 90”s and spent many contented hours reading with their small dog Katie on his lap.
Ladd served as priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in the small community of Edneyville, near Hendersonville, where Ellen dedicated a stained glass window in his honor – one representing the Feast of Pentecost, a day and experience very close to his heart. Concurrently, he was Visitation Chaplain for First Presbyterian Church visiting their sick and shut-ins. This was especially meaningful ministry for him as he brought God’s personal love to each person he met. He endeared many in the community with his inclusive and loving manner, deep voice, sense of humor and warm, genuine smile.
Ladd is survived by Ellen, by his daughters Linda Fields, Carol Kennedy, and Jan Bloom, son Mark Fields, all of Texas, step-daughter Heath Honeycutt of Maryland, and their families, including 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, and by his sister Jo Myers, as well as nieces and nephews.
His memorial Eucharist will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, Hendersonville, N.C. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Christie Olsen and The Rev. Tim Jones will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hendersonville Rescue Mission, 639 Maple Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 or St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 or the charity of your choice.