Robert I. Fields Memorial Page
(January 26, 1934 - June10, 2021)
Robert I. Fields of Woodbridge, Virginia, passed away June 10, 2021, at age 87. An avid collector of Black Heritage stamps and related first day covers, Bob (as he preferred to be called) was a dedicated member of the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections for 25 years and was ESPER’s Virginia chapter director for 15 years. He routinely attended stamps shows and first-day-of-issue stamp ceremonies and staffed the ESPER table at NAPEX (National Philatelic Exhibitions) in Virginia. A member of Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities, Bob was a staunch proponent of anything philatelic connected to “The Divine Nine” — historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Bob was noted for saying, “Until the lions have their own historians, tales of the hunted will always glorify the hunter.”
A native of Mount Vernon, New York, Bob was born January 26, 1934. An alumnus of Virginia Union University, and pursued graduate studies at the University of Delaware, The American College, and the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté. After graduation, he became a French teacher in Richmond, Virginia, for five years. Bob spent 35 years with the New York Life Insurance Company as a distinguished salesman and sales manager.
Bob was predeceased by his wife Carole Vaughn Hundley Fields on April 13, 2020. He is survived by his three children and several other relatives. A U.S. Army veteran, Bob’s interment is at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia. His philatelic collection is to be donated to the Virginia Union University L. Douglas Wilder Library. Wilder, a graduate of Virginia Union University, served as the 66th Governor of Virginia and was the first-ever elected African-American governor.
To Bob, Repose en paix mon ami. —DN
REMEMBRANCES . . .
I still remember the first time I met Bob. His voice, extraordinary smile, and teasing enveloped me. I was in Brooklyn in 2014 attending my first stamp ceremony which honored Shirley Chisholm. I saw a group of ESPER members standing together at the end of the ceremony, and I introduced myself. Bob inquired about my attendance, and I mentioned that I was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Shirley Chisholm was also a member). Bob then proceeded to quiz me to ensure I knew all of the Deltas who were honored on stamps. Bob loved educating others about stamps, and I will certainly miss his passion! I’m thankful for his family for sharing him with ESPER. Bob’s passing is a tremendous loss for his family, friends, community, and ESPER. —Warachal E. Faison, MD
I appreciated the Jackie Robinson exhibit and FDCs Bob handed out at ESPER’s 30th Anniversary. —Charlene Blair
Bob had a big personality and absolutely adored ESPER! He introduced me to ESPER.
—Dr. Uvetta Dozier
By Don Neal