Feb. 22, 1947-Sept. 18
Ms. Fields is survived by her husband, Dr. Edward B. Fields; sisters Claudia Scott and Charlotte T. Holliday; brother Lester I. Tacy Jr.; and sisters-in-law Carolyn Tacy and Stephanie Tacy; as well as aunts and uncles, many nieces and nephews, and their spouses and children.
Born Rilla Anne Tacy, Feb. 22, 1947, in Benton Harbor, Mich., to Lester I. Tacy Sr. and Pearl Modell James Tacy, Rilla became the eldest daughter of six children and the leader of the Tacy children. Baptized in March of 1955 in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (later named Community of Christ), Rilla remained a passionate servant of Jesus Christ throughout her life.
Rilla attended public schools in Michigan, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Kentucky. Her father became an appointee in 1955, assigned to all of these areas. Rilla graduated from the University of Kentucky (bachelor of science) and Auburn University (master of speech pathology). A speech pathologist par excellence, her work with children and hearing impaired youth and adults spanned decades in Alabama, Georgia, Grand Cayman Islands, Chinle, Ariz., and Pagosa Springs, Colo.
On Dec. 24, 1977, Rilla married Edward B. Fields in Lexington, Ky. Their lives created safe havens for underprivileged, broken-hearted children and adults of all races, economic means and ages. They also counseled and supported esteemed leadership of their professions, communities and church. As a priest in the Community of Christ, Rilla dedicated her ministry to the communities where she lived and to congregations where she served. As elder for Community of Christ, her husband, Ed, served as pastor for many years in many locations.
Their dedication to the church led them to Grand Cayman for a two-year volunteer assignment as missionaries. That experience led them to the Navajo Reservation to work with the Navajo Nation in speech pathology and clinical psychology. Ed served as pastor of the Pinon Mission. As they found a home in Pagosa Springs, Colo., Rilla and Ed served as priesthood leadership, teachers and counselors. In these places, they dedicated their time, ministry and resources with generous, whole hearts and gifted sense of the spirit.
Rilla worked in the Chinle Unified School District on the Navajo Reservation for 25-plus years. Ed served as a clinical psychologist for the Chinle Indian Health Service Hospital in Arizona for 23 years.
They have served in the priesthood throughout these years. Rilla continued her speech pathology practice for Community Connections in Pagosa Springs. She served as secretary on the board of directors for The Tacy Foundation, based in the nation’s capital, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for empowering youth through music and mentoring. Ed remains active in Veterans for Veterans and in ministerial responsibilities for the Durango, Colo., congregation. Since 2015, he has served as ministerial counselor for the World Church members.
Despite their active participation and involvement with demanding professions, church and community leadership, Rilla and Ed have sustained loving care and close bonds with family.
A life well lived is a legacy, and Rilla’s precious gifts of joy, unconditional love and faith gives us all a living, loving memory your hearts will treasure forever.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held Sunday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. at the Durango Community of Christ Church at 2999 W. 2nd Ave., Durango, CO 81301.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Tacy Foundation (https://www.tacyfoundation.org/), P.O. Box 2334, Germantown, MD 20875, or to Outreach International (https://outreach-international.org/), 112 W. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108-1232.
Feb. 22, 1947-Sept. 18