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Arnold Dale Fields, “The Mayor”, of Andersonville, Indiana passed away Thursday, August 18, 2022, at his home surrounded by his loved ones. He was 78 years old.
A lifelong Franklin County resident, he was born on February 15th, 1944, to Helmuth and Geneva (Creech) Fields. He was one of nine children and attended Laurel schools. Dale married Pamela Mae Matney on November 29th, 1964, in Andersonville, IN and they soon started a family that has not stopped growing.
Together Dale and Pam raised seven children, Margaret (Miles) Flint of Laurel, IN, Linda Reno of Laurel, IN, Dale Ann (Jeff) Coon, of Connersville, IN, Wilbur (Valerie) Fields of Laurel, IN, Arnold (Megan) Fields of Laurel, IN, Pamela (Jake) Hood of Glenwood, IN, and Nicole (Jason) Harsh of Laurel, IN. Dale had an additional daughter, Penny Myers of Columbus, IN, from a prior relationship. His children blessed him with 31 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren (and counting).
His early working years were spent as a logger for his family’s business and as a semi-truck driver delivering wood chips to Chillicothe, OH. He spent some time working for Matney and Martin Contractors and delivering propane for McQueen LP Gas before he made the decision to work for himself. He worked as a general contractor until his retirement.
Dale was an avid outdoorsman who loved coon hunting and working in his vegetable garden. He could be found outside most days no matter the weather. He was nearly fearless. He often sat on his porch during severe thunderstorms, and seemingly risked life and limb on a semi-regular basis when working. His bravery ended when he saw a snake. The slightest glimpse of a snake could send him running and yelling profanities along the way. A favorite hobby of his later years was driving around with his four-legged partner in crime, Bella, to check out new constructions going on in his neck of the woods. This cured some of his boredom and allowed him to get out of the house without getting into too much trouble.
As an active member of the community, Dale served on the Advisory Board for Posey Township for many years until his death. He was a member of the Andersonville Christian Church and had recently joined the congregation of Buena Southern Missionary Baptist Church. He stayed up to date on all the goings on in Andersonville and the surrounding areas earning him the playful nickname, “The Mayor”. His morning routine generally included having a cup of coffee (or five) with farmers and other old farts from the community and giving the waitstaff at D&N Diner a hard time.
He spent most of his life married to Pam and he knew that he was lucky. They bickered regularly, but their love was never in doubt. They raised their kids in a modest house and didn’t have much money, raising seven kids will do that to anyone, but they did have a family-centered home. They often opened their home to a family member in need because family was important to Dale and still is for Pam. Dale pestered Pam like his life depended on it and she gave him ` attitude right back. He was a pain in her butt daily, but she wouldn’t have traded her life with him for the world.
Dale helped create countless memories for his children. He and Pam would take the kids to the Connersville park on the Fourth of July. Pam would pack a picnic lunch complete with 8 fried chickens that she’d cooked that morning and the family would spend the day together and watch fireworks in the evening. He was known to coach his children’s ball teams and enjoyed teaching his kids a love for the game.
One time, Dale decided to purchase an ambulance to use as a work vehicle when his youngest kids were still in school. When he’d need to pick them up from school activities, they would beg him to not drive the ambulance to save them the embarrassment. That embarrassment is now a favorite story to tell when reminiscing. Each one of his kids will be able to cherish the many days they sat on the porch swing just shooting the breeze with him. Those silly conversations, heated debates, hot gossip, and arguments will be kept close to their hearts for the rest of their lives.
As Grandpa Dale, he was a rockstar. A kid could not ask for a better grandpa. His sass was untamed, and his jokes were almost as funny as he thought they were. He would always let a grandkid stay the night and indulged in the ridiculous shenanigans dreamed up by the ever-growing hoard of crazies that are his grandchildren he loved so very much. Butt “whoopins” were threatened often and seldom given. The pride on his face was obvious when he introduced a grandkid to someone he knew.
His patience was tested often by his sons, nephews, cousins, and his sons’ friends when they were growing up. They once painted the upstairs walls black and used his very expensive electrical wire for their wrestling ring. On each of those occasions, he threatened to turn their butts the color of those walls. He loved to tell those stories well into his old age.
Dale was a notorious jokester who could never resist an opportunity to tease someone in goodhearted fun. He was as stubborn and ornery as they come, but he would help people in any way that he could. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to his neighbors, friends, and especially, his family. He loved his family and let them know it regularly. You never doubted where you stood in Dale Fields’ eyes.
Dale Fields was a character like no other. He truly was one of a kind. His goofy antics, big heart, and southern drawl will be missed more than he could possibly know.
Dale was preceded in death by his father, mother, four brothers Glenn, Harold, Helmuth “Bud”, and infant Howard Fields, two sisters Alma Reece, and infant Annalee Fields, son-in-law, Jeff Coon, granddaughter Emily Walters, and great-grandson Mason Yarbrough.
He is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife of 57 years, Pam Fields, his 8 children, 30 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, two sisters Edith Hollar of Homer, IN and Peggy Young of Oxford, OH, and many extended family members.
A Celebration of Life will be 10 AM Thursday, August 25, 2022 at the Buena Southern Missionary Baptist Church 25220 Chapel Rd Laurel, IN 47024 with Pastor Rob Edwards. Friends may call 4 - 8 PM Wednesday August 24, 2022 at the church. Burial will be the the Hopewell Cemetery. Please light a candle and share your memory at www.ToddFuneralHome.com