‘A woman of incredible strength’

Sudbury Star

Lily Fielding, 103, was one of Sudbury most generous philanthropists

Lily Fielding and her family were recognized at a ceremony for a $3 million investment at the opening of Laurentian University’s Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building at the campus in Sudbury, Ont. on Monday September 10, 2018. Mrs. Fielding died Sunday. She was 103. John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Lily Fielding, one of Sudbury’s most frequent and generous donors who never forgot her Long Lake roots, has died. She was 103.

Mrs. Fielding passed away peacefully Sunday morning at her home on Long Lake, surrounded by her family and friends, as well as her “dedicated team” of caregivers, nurses and physicians, according to her obituary.

“Lily lived a humble but distinguished 103 years, partnered for 68 years with the love of her life Clifford Fielding,” the notice said. “She valued family above all else. The smiles she gave when visiting with her great-grandchildren could brighten the darkest days.

“Among her favourite interests was gardening and she valued her membership in the Sudbury Horticultural Society. She had a talent with orchids and drew great pleasure watching the hummingbirds that were drawn to her colourful flower gardens.

“Lily’s magnificent pet peacocks were a delight to all visitors, particularly children. Lily was an avid bridge player to the end of her life. She looked forward to her weekly club as well as trips to the farm, when she played bridge non-stop with her nieces, nephews, and friends.”

Lily Fielding poses with a painting she donated to Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont. on Thursday January 17, 2019. Lily Fielding and her family, gifted the painting titled La Cloche, by Group of Seven artist Franklin Carmichael. The artwork will be on display at the Brenda Wallace Reading Room located at the J.N. Desmarais Library. The room is named after Lily Fielding’s daughter, who passed away in 1997. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network John Lappa / John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Praise for the philanthropist quickly poured in. “Lily’s legacy of philanthropic initiatives for the arts, education, health care and the environment, including the gifting of the incredible Kivi Park to the public have had a profound impact across on our community and the people who live here in so many ways,” Mayor Brian Bigger said in a statement.

“I want to thank Lily for all of her generosity and efforts towards making our community a better place to live which I know will be celebrated by many for generations to come.

“On behalf of city council, I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Lily Fielding.”

Dominic Giroux, the president and CEO of Health Sciences North, said on Twitter that Mrs. Fielding has been one of the most generous donors in history to Sudbury’s hospital.

“I offer my most sincere condolences to her family,” he said. “I have always admired how they have taken such great care of her these past few years. Her presence at announcements over the years reminded everyone of the meaning of giving back to the community.

“Mrs. Fielding was a true inspiration. She leaves an exceptional legacy to Northern Ontario (and Kivi Park) being the latest of so many examples. Flags at HSN will fly at half-mast in her honour on Sunday… and Monday.”

Tracy MacLeod, chief advancement officer at Laurentian University, gives a tour of a lab to Lily Fielding at the opening of the university’s Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building on Monday. Fielding and her family were recognized at a ceremony for a $3-million investment in the facility. John Lappa/Sudbury Star

Born in the Long Lake area in 1916, Fielding was a lifelong resident of the city who retained a deep affection for Long Lake. She donated $4 million and land to help create Kivi Park, located partly on the on the site of the former Long Lake Public School.

“I have lived in Long Lake my entire life,” Mrs. Fielding said in 2017. “I grew up and went to school here, married my husband Cliff at the Voima Hall and together we raised our children in the community. I wanted to do something special in my 100th year, to give back to the community that has given so much to me.”

Kivi Park is a now the city’s largest multi-use sports and outdoor park.

In May 2018, friends and family of Mrs. Fielding gathered at Fielding Memorial Park this to acknowledge and celebrate her legacy of giving to the Northern Cancer Foundation.

Since 2004, Mrs. Fielding had given more than $1.6 million to the Northeast Cancer Centre, making her the single largest donor in its history.

Jason Perdue, Fielding’s eldest great-grandson, spoke about the many lessons that he learned from his great-grandmother and how he now tries to emulate those experiences in his own life.

“When I think of my great-grandma, I see a woman of incredible strength and courage. I see a person who takes any adversity, and turns it into a life lesson and an opportunity to create change,” he said.

After losing her daughter, her son and her oldest grandchild to cancer, she persevered, Perdue noted.

“One thing that’s always stood out to me, is that grandma has told me many times that this community has graciously given our family so much, which is why it’s so important to her to give back.”

In 2108, she donated $3 million to the Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building at Laurentian University.

Mrs. Fielding (nee Kivi) was predeceased by her husband, Cliff, one of the city’s most prominent businessmen. She is also predeceased by a daughter, Brenda Wallace (Jamie) and son Malcolm James (Jim) Fielding (Shirley, predeceased), her parents John and Susanna Kivi, and a sister, Violet “Vi” Koski (predeceased by Toivi).

She was a devoted grandmother to Norinne Perdue, predeceased, (Gerry), Murray Fielding (Debbie), Craig Fielding (Katriina), Jeffrey Wallace (Sarah), Kristen Wallace (Dan Park) and Gordon Wallace (Andrea Drager).

She was a cherished great-grandmother to Jason, Cameron, Angela Perdue; John and Katherine Wallace; Brendan and David Wallace Park. She is sadly missed by her son-in-law Jamie Wallace (Maureen Ofield), her grandson-in-law Gerry Perdue (Gaye Fielding), and her many nieces and nephews.

“Throughout her life,” her obituary said, “Lily has been proud of her Finnish heritage and her Sudbury community. Inspired by her roots and her Northern Ontario upbringing, her most notable lifetime achievement beyond her family, was perhaps the creation of Kivi Park. Lily’s memory will live on with the beautiful outdoor footprint that she left for all to enjoy.”

Funeral visitation in the Jackson and Barnard Funeral Home, 233 Larch St. Friends may call 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Funeral service in the Church of the Epiphany, 85 Larch St., on Monday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m.

Interment will be in the family plot at the Civic Memorial Cemetery in Sudbury.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Clifford and Lily Fielding Foundation would be appreciated.

For donations and messages of condolence, visit www.lougheed.org.

sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca

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