Charles Earl "Charlie" Fielder, 95, died Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, at home in Bloomfield, surrounded by his family. He will be remembered for his infectious unmistakable laugh, his tremendous hand strength and his loving spirit. He lived a long life loved by many. Charlie was born Sept. 17, 1921, in Alta Vista, Kan., to Charles Mitchell and Marie Victoria (Rogers) Fielder. He grew up in Northwestern Okla., where his family lived through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the late 1920's through the 1930's. Charlie graduated from high school in 1939 in Arnett, Okla., before becoming part of the CCCs (Civilian Conservation Corp) which was the most popular part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal." It was a public work relief program which provided work for over three million unemployed young men and built up the infrastructure of the nation's national parks and communities. Charlie worked with the CCCs in early 1940 in Woodward, Okla., and moved on to be part of building Estes Park, Colo. through 1941. Charlie enlisted in the U.S. Army Feb. 4, 1942, and after completion of various basic training was shipped to North Africa as part of the 85th Infantry Signal Corp - Custer Division. He spent time in Tunisia building communication lines and establishing communication for North Africa. He shipped to Italy in 1943 and became part of the 10th Mountain Division. While in Italy Charlie's division trained for invading Japan. On Aug. 6, 1945, he was on a ship in the Atlantic heading for furlough and further training in the U.S. when news reached them of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, effectively ending World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and was proud of his service to his country, but did not talk about it much. On Dec. 14, 1945, in Fargo, Okla., Charlie married Crystal Onita Jones whom he met at a café in Arnett, Okla., after returning home from the service. He was drawn to her exceptional banana cream pie. At the time of his death, Charlie and Crystal had been married 70 years and had five children, one still-born. The family moved from Oklahoma to New Mexico in 1952 where Charlie went to work for El Paso Natural Gas in 1953, working for them for 30 years before retiring in 1983. He was initially part of building Blanco Plant north of Bloomfield before working up to an operator. He worked in both the Blanco and Ballard Plants. He was fortunate to be in good health to enjoy his retirement of over 33 years. Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; baby son, Larry Keith Fielder; sister, Esta June Sober; and brother, Mirl Wayne Fielder. He is survived by his wife, Crystal of the family home; daughter, Lois Fielder of Bloomfield; son, Robert Fielder of Bloomfield; daughter, Gayle (Danny) Phillips of Bloomfield; daughter, Lynn (Terrell) Thornton of Albuquerque; two brothers, Edgar (Jane) Fielder of Greeley, Colo. and Johnnie (Claudia) Fielder of Oklahoma City; 3 grandchildren, Melanie Fielder of Hillsboro, Ore., Michelle (Josh) Galbreath of Banks, Ore. and Nathan (Sarah) Thornton of Albuquerque; 4 great-grandchildren, Seth, Lydia and Micah Galbreath, and Deven Escalante; numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and wonderful family friends. The family wishes to thank the hospice employees of Basin Home Health for their excellent end-of-life care, as well as staff from Comfort Keepers who provided needed assistance for the last several months. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice in Charles Fielder's name. Funeral arrangements are with Farmington Funeral Home, 2111 W. Apache St., 505-325-2211. Those who wish to express condolences may do so at farmingtonfuneral.com.
... Show More