Michael Eugene Fields, 60, of Gallipolis, Ohio, passed away Saturday, August 4, 2012, at the Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, after a short illness.
Michael was born on November 16, 1951, at the March Air Force Base in Riverside, California, to Eugene Fields and Betty Badgley Fields who were stationed there at that time.
As a child, Michael and his brothers, Pat and Ray, traveled where the Air Force took their parents from around the United States to far off Germany. Michael attended the first grade of school on Ramstein Air Force Base. While attending many different schools growing up, Michael and his family returned to their Letart, West Virginia, home and he graduated from Wahama High School in Mason, West Virginia, in 1970. After graduation, he enrolled in Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1974.
After college, Michael found work at the Southern Ohio Coal Co. as an explosives specialist for several years. Leaving the coal mines, he took a management position with the town of New Haven as the Water/Sewer Superintendent for the newly constructed Sewer Treatment Plant. Then wanting to advance in his profession, he was later employed by the Goodyear/Shell plant in Apple Grove, West Virginia, as an area manager for many years. When the plant was sold out to another company, Michael left that position and was employed by the Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia in Buffalo, West Virginia, in quality control.
Growing up Michael had many outside interests. He enjoyed hunting, motorcycles and softball. He was an EMT for the New Haven Emergency Squad and a firefighter, holding different leadership roles with the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department.
He loved drag racing with his brother, Ray, and their ’67 and ’69 Camaros for many years. As he got older, then his passion turned to street rods. He was in the process of restoring a 1936 Ford Coupe, a hobby that will now be passed on to his sons, Justin and Ryan. His hobbies now included building HO scale trains with his grandson, Conner, and attending train shows together.
His interest in Nascar became active again through the eyes of Conner who enthusiastically discovered the sport and Kasey Kane. Sundays were spent with Conner and each rooting for their favorite drivers.
Michael also loved to discuss politics and was a conservative down to the bone.
Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents, William, Jr., and Maggie Fields, Eva and Lon Bass; his mother, Betty Badgley Fields; and a stepson, Jeremy R. Ball.
In addition to his father, Eugene Fields of Letart, W.Va., he is survived by his wife, Connie Fields, of Gallipolis; son, Justin (Corrine) Fields, and their children, Beckett and Harrison of Columbus, Ohio; son, Ryan Fields and his son, Zachary of New Haven, WV; stepdaughter, Lindsay Ball, and her son, Conner Walter of Gallipolis; stepson, Jerrod Ball of Ft. Collins, Colorado; brother, Pat (Edda) Fields of Letart, W.Va., and their children, Adam (Rachel) Fields, and their son, Gage of Letart, W.Va.; Jody Fields of Letart, W.Va.; Jinelle (Jarrod) Ogdin of Point Pleasant, W.Va., and their children, Clarissa, Joseph and Isabella; brother, Ray Fields and fiancé Carolyn Ohlinger of New Haven, W.Va., and his children, Nicole of Fairmont, W.Va., Miranda of Huntington, W.Va., and Hillary (Jeff) Harris of Charleston, S.C.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, August 9, 2012, at Willis Funeral Home with Pastor James Lusher officiating. Burial will follow in Ohio Valley Memory Gardens.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, from 5-8 p.m. and 9:30-11 a.m., Thursday, prior to the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in memory of Michael to a college fund for his grandson, Conner Walter, through the Ohio Valley Bank.
Please visit www.willisfuneralhome.com to send e-mail condolences.