Aletha May Fields (born Anderson) died Sept. 18, 2019, at her home in Columbia. She was born Sept. 26, 1925, in Hutchinson, Kansas. Her father was Carl Fredrick Anderson, originally Fyn, of Denmark. Her mother was Iris Anna Antonie Nielsen, originally of Copenhagen. Her lifelong husband was Clarence Walter Fields, whom she married May 29, 1943, in Pasadena, California.
Aletha grew up in the plains of Kansas in the pleasant small town of McPherson. She was the first of four children. She was a strong student, had a lifelong love of books and was a talented genealogist and student of history.
Aletha launched early into the adventure of life. During early World War II, she went to Los Angeles, California. While waiting for her husband to return from service in the Pacific, she flew coastal surveillance with the Civil Air Patrol looking for enemy submarines. After the war, she had two sons, Jerry and Kenneth. She subsequently lived in Wichita, Kansas, and Prescott, Arizona, before finally moving to Columbia. She loved the history and geography of every place she lived.
Aletha and her husband, Clancy, were perfectly matched partners. Lifelong companions, they lived the joys of life together with zest. Together they loved to play and work. They raised two grateful sons together. When Clancy passed, Aletha quietly mourned him but continued to live with happiness and enthusiasm. Her fierce independence was a byword in the family. Toward the close of life, her son Ken generously helped her to live in her own home to the end.
Aletha was a loving and strong person who was deeply dedicated to family and friends. She understood life and lived it with courage and grace. All who knew her felt her calm affection. She was patient in her last illness and faced bravely the approach of death. Now she knows the answer to the mystery.
Aletha is survived by her sons, Jerry Dale Fields and wife Nancy and Kenneth Lee Fields of Columbia; brother Carl Anderson and wife Elizabeth; and sister-in-law Jan Anderson. Surviving grandchildren are Stephanie Stiles and husband Kipp and Andrea Fields and husband Bill Wanser. Surviving great-grandchildren are Josh and Derek Stiles and Charlotte and Damon Wanser.
She also leaves behind many nephews and nieces whom she loved like children. She was preceded in death by brother Quentin Anderson and sister Marianne Spencer.
Funeral rites will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, two days before her 94th birthday, at Calvary Episcopal Church, 123 S. Ninth St.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory, 12 E. Ash St., Columbia, Missouri, 65203; (573) 449-4153. Condolences may be left online for the family at www.millardfamilychapels.com.