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June Norris Fields, of St. Joseph

Published 9:19am Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June Norris Fields, of St. Joseph, passed away June 3, 2014 at Woodland Terrace in Bridgman. She was 91.

June Norris Fields
June Norris Fields

Family was always most important to June. She married Donald Fields in 1946 at the farm where she grew up. The couple met as members of Junior Farm Bureau where June served as Berrien County President and State Officer. June and Don were happily married for 40 years. Don passed away in 1987.

June has two children, Judge John Fields and Jane (Rick) Miller; and five grandchildren, Jennifer and Laura Fields, Tiffany Miller (Lesley Pinckney), Kent (Jessica) Miller and David Fields, who passed away as a child in 1987.

It is impossible to talk about June without mentioning her kindness. It came to her naturally. She had a way of connecting with people, and in an instant could make their day a little bit better.

Her legacy of love lasted all of her life. It wasn’t unusual for a stranger to remark at just how sweet she was, even going as far as to say she was the nicest woman they’d ever met. Once a government official wrote a note to her boss, the president of Lake Michigan College, praising her compassionate nature.

“In my opinion June’s probably the greatest personal asset PR-wise. If she’s as pleasant and cooperative with others as she is with the senator and me, I think she’s probably doing a lot to enhance your image in the community,” he wrote.

June never lost her likeability and continued to endear herself to others, even as her health was failing.

“Just yesterday, an aide (at Woodland Terrace in Bridgman) stopped my brother (John Fields) and me to tell us how much our mom had touched her heart,” Jane Miller said.

June was also an incredible friend. She was always hosting a dinner party for a different social club. One group, the Pleasant Hour Club, met for 70 years. She kept in touch with friends from every era of her life, sending birthday and Christmas cards to hundreds of friends every year.

June called herself a country girl. She grew up on a farm in Berrien Center with her two younger brothers, Robert and Vern Norris and attended a one-room schoolhouse until eighth grade. She moved in with an aunt and uncle so she could attend Niles High School, where she graduated at 16 as second in her class.

She immediately enrolled in secretarial school at the College of Commerce in South Bend and also attended Michigan State University. June was very smart and organized and took to her first job very easily. She was quickly promoted and managed a dozen other secretaries before her 18th birthday. Her boss told her to keep her age a secret, as the women who worked for her might not respect her because she was so young. June continued her career for 35 years.

She worked at Tyler Refrigeration, Michigan State University and Scranton Publishing Co. She was also an administrative secretary to the President of Lake Michigan College for 15 years prior to her retirement.

June was active as a member of First United Methodist Church in St. Joseph.

June is preceded in death by her grandson, David Fields, her parents Ada and Kay Norris, her sisters-in-law Irene Norris and Marion Fields and her brother-in-law Robert Fields.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 9, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd, St. Joseph.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 10 at First United Methodist Church, 2950 Lakeview Ave., St. Joseph. Burial will follow at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles.

Thoughts may be shared with the family online at www.starks-menchingner.com. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church or Hospice at Home.

 

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