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Friends and fellow Elks remember Fields
Circling the Square
By Ceci Clover, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: October 10, 2012
A fond farewell was bid to Michael “Cooky” Robert Fields on Saturday at Jackson Elks Lodge No. 1713. Mike’s lodge brothers Marcus Stilson, Jerry Lancaster, Chuck Samples, Craig Gould, Jill Callaway, Fernando Escobedo and Steve Ware conducted the Elks’ ritual ceremony. The life sketch was delivered by Chuck, who also created a wonderful digital montage of pictures chronicling Mike’s life set to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird.”
The ceremony is a moving testament to a fallen brother, signified by the ringing of chimes striking the hour of 11, which is the Elks’ hour of remembrance. Mike’s niece, Alicia Fields, told several great stories about her uncle, and Marcia Kunstel and Joe Albright spoke about how Mike came to work at Flat Creek Ranch.
Many came to share stories and pay their respects, including Dee Moser, Marsha and Emily Holden, Lisa Paddleford, Joan and John Shipman, Tom Miller, Connolly Geary and Kelly Champlain.
Mike was born Oct. 25, 1955, in Denver to Bob and Sandra Fields. After graduating from high school, he served a hitch in the Navy, and then began his stateside adventures. On his way to Alaska, he and a friend came through Jackson Hole. When his friend decided to move on, he left Mike sleeping in his tent with peanut butter and bread. Mike awoke to find his friend had departed with his vehicle and his dogs.
Mike found work as a stereo salesman at the Electra Center with George Shearer, Skip Weaver, Randy Divan, Rusty Palmer and Mike Lance, to name some, and met the love of his life, Cindy Arthur Fields, his wife for 32 years. Mike fell in love with Wyoming, too, and for that the community is forever better as the recipient of his giving heart and devoted involvement in family, community and nature.
Mike loved people and never lacked for jokes to make others laugh.
Mike’s love for cooking translated into work when he started serving his own recipes for lunches at the Daylight Donuts shop owned by his in-laws, Robert and Vera Arthur. He moved on to cook at the Triangle X’s hunting camp and Tag Restaurant. In 1992, Nora Tygum hired him to work at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, where he reigned over the dinner menu. This was a turning point in Mike’s culinary career as he began to blossom as a chef. In 2003, he became the chef at Flat Creek Ranch, where he enjoyed being able to tell stories and jokes to everyone while he was cooking. Since 2009, he was a personal chef and caretaker for a private family.
The Elks Club community was another of Mike’s loves, which was apparent by the years of dedicated service he gave to it: the numerous Friday night dinners he cooked, the countless benefits and holiday dinners, and all the catering.
He was also the inspiration and backbone of the food booth for the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb for the Jackson Hole Snow Devils. The Snow Devils donated the post-service luncheon fare Saturday in honor of all he gave to them.
Mike passed away from pancreatic cancer on Aug. 7. His family and friends miss him dearly. He was a free spirit who chose to live life on his own terms and a soul who enriched the lives of those around him. Many will carry his love of life and laughter with them, and he will live on through his loving wife Cindy; son Jason (Jessica) and grandsons Levi Wyatt and Weston Arthur Fields; and daughter Leslie and grandson Alex Michael Fields. His mother, Sandy, preceded him in death. He also is survived by his father, Robert Fields, sister Karyn (Dave) Castles, brother Andrew Fields, in-laws Robert and Vera Arthur, Lennis and Teresa Arthur, Yvonne Arthur and Lori (Brian) Beck, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Longtime valley residents Sally and Mark McCullough celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary Tuesday. Best wishes to them for health and happiness over the next 30!
The Birthday Club was held after lunch last Friday at the Senior Center of Jackson Hole. The hostesses were Hazel Halling and Claudia Perry. Twelve members were present, which allowed for three tables of four. Leanne Moore was high scorer, and Betty Cook was low.
Member Beulah Riggan is away and much missed. The group held its annual elections, and Hazel Halling moved from vice president to president. Elaine Luton was voted in as vice president, and Leanne Moore was re-elected secretary/treasurer.