David Keith Fields
April 19, 1940 - September 12, 2019
The ever-present desire of David Keith Fields was that all people would hear the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that they would accept the gift freely offered by Jesus to accept Him as their Savior. David was born April 19, 1940 in Los Angeles, California. As a preacher's kid, David's family moved around quite a bit while he was growing up, with his father planting and pastoring new churches in Klamath Falls, Oregon; Vale, Oregon; Pendleton, Oregon; and Salem, Oregon.
David attended Multnomah School of the Bible (now Multnomah University) and the Oregon College of Education (now WOU) and left just a few credits shy of his teaching degree to enter the building trade. He would later return to sit on the Board of Multnomah as Chairman and assist them through many building projects and other efforts. David was also instrumental in the founding of Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya, a beacon of light for the Gospel of Christ on the African continent. God used him mightily. He was an active member of Salem First Baptist Church and served in many capacities over his past 40 years of membership, including as a committee member and chair, building and financial adviser, and as a Deacon.
One of David's values was generosity. To accomplish this goal, he and his business partner of over 50 years (Dale Decker) formed the Decker-Fields Foundation, one of the oldest private foundations in Oregon. When asked how his partnership could last 50+ years, his answer was, “We had to have quick ‘forgetters’.” David knew how to forgive. His professional work was through American Village Corporation, a property management and construction company that he started in 1965, building apartments and other structures all over the state of Oregon.
David had many outstanding characteristics, including integrity, loyalty, and perseverance; but the one he was most known for was his ability to tell a great story. In fact, he was a great storyteller! Through this storytelling, David had a way of revealing God’s glory to those around him through the circumstances in his life. He passed into heaven on September 12, 2019 surrounded by his loved ones singing his favorite hymns, heard by all the hospital staff—just how he would have liked it.
He will be desperately missed by his beloved wife of 55 years, Louise, and his four children: Michelle McKinney, Jennifer Church, Andrew Fields and James Fields. He has joined his sister, Nancy Coats, in heaven. He is also survived by his sisters Elizabeth Long of White Salmon, Jean Anderson of Salem, Joan Epefanio of Spokane, Patsy Malmsten of Spokane and brother Jon Fields of Powell Butte along with 23 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held on September 28, at 2:00pm at Salem First Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions to honor his life can be made to the Decker-Fields Foundation.
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