Philip Ross Field

February 19, 1929January 23, 2021

PHILIP R. FIELD February 19, 1929 – January 23, 2021

Philip Ross Field was born February 19, 1929 in Alhambra, California to Ross B. Field, a civil engineer, and Leda C. Field, a concert pianist. Phil was the oldest of three children, growing up in Alhambra with his parents, brother Noel, and sister, Carolyn.

Phil attended Alhambra High School from 1943 to 1947 and was greatly involved in the Boy Scouts of America. While still in high school, he achieved the rank Eagle Scout, and in addition earned the Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms. Phil was the first scout in his troop to meet the requirements for this rank. While attending Alhambra High School, Phil met Leah Downum; they were 16 and 14 years old when they met, and they would spend their lives together.

In 1948, Phil began attending Pasadena City College. He loved music and played the saxophone in the college marching band. He marched in the Rose Parade on three separate occasions. Following Pasadena City College, Phil then attended the University of Southern California, starting in 1950 and graduating in 1952. While studying at USC, Phil majored in civil engineering and was graduated with a degree in civil engineering and electrical engineering. After Phil graduated, he continued in night school at USC and completed management courses in business administration in anticipation of having his own business. Phil was active in the professional Engineering Fraternity Sigma Phi Delta and enjoyed the professional and social activities of the Fraternity. Leah was always a close companion in everything he did.

Phil was industrious and began selling magazines at age 8. Following that, he sold newspapers in front of neighborhood grocery stores. The manager at the local Market Basket noticed his work ethic and offered him a job in the Produce Department. He remained employed at Market Basket until he graduated from USC in 1952. While at USC, Phil worked 36 hours a week at Market Basket while carrying 18-19 engineering units.

Phil and Leah married April 5, 1952 and after graduation from USC in 1952, Phil went to work for Northrup Aviation located in El Segundo, working in the Snark Missile Division designing components of a highly classified drone being developed by Northrup for military intelligence. Phil was employed at Northrup for 2 years until 1954 when he was invited to join Lockheed Aviation in Van Nuys by an upper-level Lockheed manager who had previously worked with Phil at Northrup. Phil and Leah moved to Van Nuys and Phil started at Lockheed’s Ground Handling Division where he designed ground handling support equipment for transporting airplanes. One of Phil’s designs went directly to production and he was told by management that this was the first occasion that a young designer’s work did not have to be revised before being produced.

Phil left Lockheed in 1956 to move to Bakersfield. Almost immediately after arriving in Bakersfield, Phil became employed by Rickett & Reaves Engineering. He was sought out and loaned to other construction companies due to his engineering expertise. For 7 years, Phil worked with and for prominent construction companies in Bakersfield. Phil went into business for himself, first with partners and eventually establishing P.R. Field Incorporated.

P.R. Field Inc., was an engineering and building contractor, specializing in large concrete jobs (bridges, culverts, water treatment plants, schools, hospitals), and during this time, Phil remodeled his house to establish a home office so as not to sacrifice time with Leah and the five children. Phil retired from P.R. Field, Inc. in 1983 and began work later that year with a professional organization devoted to the advancement of contractors in the Kern County area. In this capacity, contractors regularly sought his advice on their own projects, and he was happy to share his knowledge and expertise. Throughout his career, Phil was a successful civil engineer, building over 35 structures and bridges in Bakersfield. To this day, anyone driving into or out of Bakersfield, will travel over a bridge built by Phil Field.

Phil was involved in numerous community organizations including President of the Engineers’ Club of Bakersfield, President of the Engineering Grading Contractors’ Association, President of the California State Builders’ Exchange, and the Kiwanis. Phil has been the Kiwanian of the year and distinguished Kiwanian. In 1997- 98, he was President of the Kern Kiwanis Club. In 2000-01, he was Lt. Governor of Division 33 which covers 13 clubs in Kern County.

Phil remained active at work, with committees and charitable and service organizations. Phil was active in the Boys and Girls Club of Bakersfield, the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Bakersfield City School District. Phil also gave of his time to tutor students struggling in math.

Leah passed away on April 23, 2006 after 54 years of marriage. They were together a total of 60 years.

Phil and Leah had five children together. Phil is survived by his son, Dr. David Field, his wife Rachel, his granddaughter Amanda Monroe, her husband Jason and Phil’s great grandsons, Allen and Thomas Monroe. Phil’s daughter Diana Field Paerels, an attorney, and her husband Emilio and Phil’s grandson, Evan Paerels. His son Paul Field and grandsons Philip and Alexander Field. His daughter Darlene Ocampo, her husband Stephen and Phil’s grandson, Christopher Ocampo. His daughter Linda Graves, a Registered Nurse, her husband, Charles and Phil’s granddaughter, Evannah Graves. Of special note is Phil’s dear and loving friend Sandy Morris who provided companionship and many wonderful times for Phil over the past several years.

Phil was very social and had many dear friends. Phil loved flying and was a twin-engine and instrument rated pilot. Phil obtained his pilot’s license in the early 1970’s and flew his own plane until he was over 80 years of age. Phil remained active, devoted to his family, and enjoyed traveling, until his peaceful passing, surrounded by his family, just days before his 92nd birthday. Phil leaves behind a legacy of love and he will be cherished and kept in the hearts of his children, grandchildren, other family, and friends.

Services will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 10:00 AM.


  • Visitation

    Monday, February 22, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Philip Ross Field

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Debbie Castillo

February 23, 2021

I will miss my dear friend Phil. He was an exceptionally kind and generous man who cared deeply for his friends at the Bakersfield City School District, which is where we met. I also had the privilege of knowing sweet Leah many years ago - perhaps that is why we had such a strong bond as friends.

Your father was an amazing man and it was a blessing to have been considered his friend.