Gary L. Fields
Gary Leon Fields was born March 20, 1938, in a hovel on a small farm in Curtis, OK, to Leon Everett Fields and Rhoda Marie (Baird) Fields. Two highlights of his youth were receiving his first pig and moving to the Curtis elementary school where he met Ila “Dea” Ames, a cute girl with pigtails. At Mooreland High School, Gary completed 4-H and FHA projects, was named as quarterback and captain of the football team and graduated as valedictorian in 1956.
Following graduation, Gary helped his family move to Carlsbad, NM, after they lost their farm lease. He then moved to Oklahoma City to attend Draughon’s School of Business on scholarship. Gary supported himself through school by working at Livingston Oil Co. and as a bookkeeper at Carnation, Inc. When Dea came to the city for a 4-H meeting, Gary proposed to her in the parking lot of her motel. Gary and Dea were married on July 4, 1957, and the fireworks began, lasting for 61 years. Together, they provided a loving home for their three children, which they also opened to refugees, students, and friends who needed a place to stay.
Gary received a BA from OCU and an MBA from Central State University. Gary began his dream job as Business Manager of Oklahoma Christian College (OC) in 1968 and moved the family to Edmond in 1969. After 29 years of service to OC, he opened his own CPA practice and was still preparing tax returns for long-time clients until the day he died.
Gary and Dea became members of the Southwest Church of Christ in 1958 after studying with Lewis Hale. In 1969, they began worshipping with the Memorial Road Church of Christ (MRCC). Gary ministered with a quiet and gentle spirit over the years, first as treasurer, with his kids “helping” count the contribution on Sundays. He also served as a Bible class teacher, junior high coordinator, deacon, bus ministry coordinator, and elder. Until his death, he was active in the MRCC prison ministry.
After listening on his radio at age 11 to the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series, Gary rooted for the Indians and the Browns his entire life. He enjoyed the Brown’s current success and planned a trip to watch the Indians at Spring Training in March in AZ. Gary was also a huge fan of Oklahoma Christian basketball and Oklahoma State football and was an avid gardener and voracious reader of books and newspapers. He enjoyed traveling with Dea, especially to Branson, MO. He loved playing card and domino games with his friends, completing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with his grandchildren.
Gary passed from this life on January 14, 2021, at home following a brief illness. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Karen Tesney and Larry Fields, wife Dea, and brother-in-law Albert Ames. He is survived by children Sherri (Ken) Hines, Steve (Kay) Fields, and Stacey (Terri) Fields and grandchildren Kelli, Amy and Brad Hines, Lily Fields and Ben, Isaac, and Eli Fields. He is also survived by sister-in-law Carolyn Ames, brother-in-law Eldon Ames, nieces Kim Pettenridge and Gina (JC) Carroll, nephews Lee, Jeff, Mike and Russell Tesney, and grand-nephew Bryce Carroll. Gary’s legacy is an outstanding example of patient caregiving, generosity, faithfulness, and loyalty.
Public viewing is from 3-8 p.m. Friday, January 22, 2021, at Matthews Funeral Home. Memorial service will be at MRCC on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. and will be live-streamed on MRCC You Tube. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MRCC for its prison ministry and missions.