Cover photo for Edward William  Fields, Jr.'s Obituary
Edward William  Fields, Jr. Profile Photo
1933 Edward 2020

Edward William Fields, Jr.

November 3, 1933 — February 15, 2020

Edward William Fields Jr., 86, formerly of Dickinson, ND, died Saturday, February 15, 2020, in Sierra Madre, CA.

Bill was born November 3, 1933, in Indianapolis, IN, the son of Edward and Marguerite Fields. He and his sister Janice were raised in West Newton, Martinsville, Mars Hill, and Mooresville, IN, with deep ties to family and the Quaker community. Bill was a member of Mooresville Friends Church and graduated from Mooresville High School in 1951.

Bill served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1960. During that time he worked on submarine surveillance equipment for the NSA and was stationed near Washington, DC, and San Francisco. In 1958 he moved to Bismarck, ND, where he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mildred and Arthur Hoadley, his cousin David, and his grandmother Mary Adaline Christie. There he attended Bismarck Junior College and met his wife-to-be, Janice Cram. Bill graduated from State Teachers College, Valley City, ND in 1962 and went on to receive his Masters in Social Work from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1965.

Bill and Jan were married June 8, 1962, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bismarck. They moved to Dickinson in 1965, and their daughter Jennifer was born in 1971. Bill was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the ND Department of Human Services. He worked at the Badlands Human Service Center in Dickinson from 1965 until his retirement in 1995. He and Jan were active members of the Dickinson community until her death in 2019. He then moved to Sierra Madre, California to be near Jennifer and his beloved grandchildren.

Bill was a pioneer in mental health services in Dickinson and southwest North Dakota. In 1967 he was the first mental health clinician hired by the county of social services. The services grew and he began to hire additional staff to assist him. As mental health services evolved and expanded, a separate mental health center was created. Again services expanded and it was further enlarged to become the Badlands Human Service Center. In his three decades of services Bill never wavered in his leadership of the mental health/social service division. Bill truly believed that therapeutic services were a right and neither economic nor geographic location should prohibit services for those in need. His life’s work spanned over three decades, his contribution helped to build the framework and set the standard of care available to all members of the Dickinson and southwest North Dakota community.

Bill is survived by his devoted daughter Jennifer (Jimmy) Garcia of Sierra Madre, CA, and three grandchildren who meant the world to him: Will, Jake, and Adaline; foster daughter Tina (Kevin) DeGree of Minot, ND; sister Janice (Lawrence) Blattner of Peoria, IL; cousin David (Nancy) Hoadley of Falls Church, VA; several brothers- and sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years and his parents.

A visitation was held on February 20 at Rose Hills Mortuary in Whittier, CA.
Bill will be laid to rest in White Lick Cemetery on April, 27th with a Celebration of Life to take place in the future.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill Fields are suggested to the USS ALABAMA Battleship Foundation for the USS DRUM submarine (www.ussalabama.com/get-involved/foundation) or to Mooresville Friends Church, 50 N. Monroe St., Mooresville, IN 46158.

Final arrangements are entrusted to Carlisle Branson Funeral Service & Crematory, Mooresville. Please visit www.carlislebranson.com to sign the online guestbook or to share a memory with the family.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Edward William Fields, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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