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William “Bill” Henry Fields

William “Bill” Henry Fields passed away peacefully the morning of November 11th after a brief illness at Sunrise Assisted Living in Fairfax, VA.

Bill was the older of two children born to the late Manton and Ellamae Fields in Wheeling West Virginia on August 22nd, 1936. Growing up in Wheeling he lived a full childhood and experienced the city at its zenith, all while living above the family’s funeral home on Main Street. He helped out in the family business, and was also a paperboy, movie usher, and stock boy at local stores.

He was a performer from his earliest years whether acting or singing, he was always comfortable in the spotlight. Starring as a child actor on Radio WWVA for 5 years, he honed his theater skills to carry him through multiple different shows in high school and college, and later to produce plays in Baltimore and Wheeling. It was Bill’s reputation as a tenor, however, that followed him all of his life. Whether singing as a youth at the First Christian Church in Wheeling, in the choir at National City Christian Church in DC, leading the family in show tunes while
driving across the country on vacations, performing at local piano bars, or just joining in with the musical entertainers brought into Sunrise, he was renowned and cherished as a singer.

Bill married Sallie Klein while in college and while the marriage ended in divorce after 12 years, together they had four children; Lee Anne, Billy, Cathy, and Lori. Soon after graduating from Bethany College, Bill left Wheeling and initially went to work for Stouffer’s Restaurants. Throughout his professional life he worked in many different capacities in a variety of industries and government agencies including teaching 6 th grade in Baltimore, as a claims agent for B&O Railroad, a Rehabilitation Counselor in WV, a police recruiter for the District of Columbia, and different positions in the MSHA personnel office travelling all over the county to visit underground mines. Later in life he also started several businesses including Video Disc Services newsletter and video production studio in Baltimore, a house tour company and multiple bed & breakfasts in Wheeling, and built a dinner theater inside a converted church.

In 1968 Bill married Nancy McConnell, linking his family of four with her family of four; Karen, Rex, Lauretta & Kirk. They lived together with various sibling configurations for the next several years in Maryland, and as the children grew and went out on their own journeys, the two became empty nesters. In 1995, Bill and Nancy moved to Palm Bay, Florida for a warmer climate and ultimately to provide several years of home care for both of their mothers, Ellamae Fields and Laurette McConnell. In 2017 Nancy passed away and Bill moved to Northern Virginia to Sunrise Assisted Living. For the past 6 years he truly enjoyed family visits & holidays, local field trips, and the company of others in his new-found community at Sunrise.

Bill is survived by his brother, Bob (Sally), daughter Lee Anne, son Billy (Cathy), daughter Cathy (Terry), daughter Lori (Michael), daughter Lauretta, son Kirk (Grace), fourteen grandchildren, and many great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Floris United Methodist Church and/or Faith Baptist Church of Palm Bay.

The family would appreciate the sharing of any “pearls of wisdom” or life lessons Bill bestowed upon you, or special memories you have of him.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William “Bill” Henry Fields, please visit our flower store.


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