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McEwen Funeral Service-Mint Hill Chapel

7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Charlotte, NC

OBITUARY

Roy R. Fielding

June 2, 1951May 15, 2020

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Roy Fielding, loving husband and professor, passed away unexpectedly at age 68 when his big, beautiful heart stopped at his beloved home, Westfield Lodge, in the North Carolina mountains.

Roy was born on June 2, 1951 in Cedar Falls, Iowa to Rusty and Jennie (Cummings) Fielding. He received his Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was part of the swim team. Roy was a professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte for 41 years and volunteered for the American Red Cross for over 50 years. Roy married Mary Gaye Westbrook in 1988 and they created homes for themselves in Mint Hill, West Jefferson, and Oak Island, NC.

Roy’s legacy cannot be done justice in words- his awards and achievements too numerous to list. He was most proud of his impact on his students that loved him and looked up to him as a mentor. Everyone who knew Roy knew of his quiet, peaceful nature, his dry, brilliant humor, and his passionate dedication to his work. Roy was The Pool Professor, The Defender of his family, and a true superhero to all.

Roy was preceded in death by his father, Rusty, and his mother, Jennie. He is survived by his devoted wife Mary Gaye Fielding, their beloved dogs Dexter and Duncan, his parent-in-laws Sarah Lynn and Arthur DeBour and Earl and Debra Westbrook, and all of his loving family herd including, April, Dana, and Victoria Hargett; Earl and Lezlie Westbrook and Kyle Harman and family; Wendy, Tyler, and Kyle Hood; Bruce, Gracia, Morgan, Mason, Mackenzie Cummings; Roger, Vickey, Ryan, and Vanessa Fielding; Great Uncle Roy Flynt; and numerous cousins, friends, colleagues, and students.

Donations can be made to the pre-existing Mary Gaye & Roy Fielding Athletics Development Fund and the Roy and Mary Gaye Fielding Scholarship for UNCC students at crowdfund.uncc.edu/RoyFielding. Roy will be honored with the Roy R. Fielding Aquatics Center at UNCC. The dedication will be combined with his celebration of life to honor Roy’s legacy at a date to be announced.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Roy R. Fielding

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Jeff Borders

May 25, 2020

I took SCUBA under Roy Fielding at UNCC in the mid 80's. Upon seeing that the professor looked like a Greek god, I was pleasantly surprised at Roy's professionalism and perfectionism in regards to SCUBA instruction. No question, when we finished the course, we were all thoroughly prepared. He didn't hand us a certificate; He drilled us and taught us. He made the class palatable with his extra dry humor. I distinctly recall his most important instruction: "The most important thing is that you always have to look cool. If you don't look cool, nothing else matters." Of course, we looked cool on our trip to the Cayman Islands because we were well prepared. Roy wasn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and do whatever was necessary to help people succeed. He was a tremendous asset to the University and to his community. He will be greatly missed.

Gary Smith

May 25, 2020

We knew Roy for 27 of his 41 years at UNC Charlotte. Most of the time we met at the Bell Gym swimming pool. Knowing Roy's background in aquatics, we recommended that the pool be renamed the Roy R. Fielding Aquatics Center. Chancellor Dubois made it official on December 5, 2018 at Roy's retirement party. The dedication to place the plaque would have been March 21, 2020 but was postponed due to Covid 19. Three days before Roy's passing, he telephoned to ask how we were doing. During the conversation, Roy said that the ceremony probably would be in the fall. We will miss him dearly.

Joanne & Gary Smith

Dianne Weatherford

May 22, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. Roy was a real gentleman. He was my instructor in the course for Certified Pool Operator at UNCC. He will be greatly missed by everybody on earth. RIP. God bless you & your family, Dianne Weatherford

Lee-Ann Kenny

May 22, 2020

I’ve met Roy a few times during different functions at UNCC. He was always full of life and kind words.
It is with deepest sympathy to hear of his passing, UNCC has lost a great man.

Tim Sulentic

May 22, 2020

Hoping you all pull together at this difficult time as Roy would want you to. You need to know this MAN touched many lives, mine included. Roy was larger than life yet walk with a quiet confidence you dreamed about and tried to emulate. You know a measure of a man by wanting to be like him and liked by him. I was lucky to have him be such an influence. I got to know him at an early age through UNI athletics and his dear friend and mine, Glen Henry. There's no better tribute to Roy that I can give more poignant that he would be my number one pick in my starting five (as a wing man) in the game of life. Because of him, I'm going to work a little harder, give a lot more to others and stand taller,each and every day.

Julie Burt

May 22, 2020

Roy was a true friend, always genuinely caring, not just a passing quick hello. He was such an advocate for his students and went to many lengths to solve any questions they had that he could not answer. His wit and humor made any day brighter. He was so happy in retirement and loved traveling with his family and friends. There is a huge void in the lives of all who called Roy friend. Extending heartfelt love and prayers to Mary Gaye and family.

Mark Colone

May 21, 2020

Roy Fielding had just retired after 41 years of teaching at UNC Charlotte. He was an original and had so many plans to enjoy the years ahead. So sorry Mary Gaye, April, and the thousands (yes) of people Roy touched. I don’t know why God needed this soldier so soon, but he will be reunited with his mom. And what a soldier he will make, built like Atlas with brains and personality to match.

We set up a fund at UNC Charlotte to honor something so important to Roy and Mary Gaye to continue their family legacy. If you want to participate, this is the link: https://crowdfund.uncc.edu/project/21190>

Peter Schwarz

May 21, 2020

Any day that you saw Roy Fielding was a good day. Most of the time, it was before diving in to the UNC Charlotte pool. I came to UNC Charlotte as a faculty member in 1978 and was so glad to find a pool, and one with an ambassador as welcome as Roy. It was reserved for lap swimming as well as just having fun during the lunch hours, and Roy made it a special place. Of course, we would see Roy at other places as well, but I will have fond memories of his camaraderie for the shared joy of swimming.

Penny Stevens

May 21, 2020

Roy was a great "Pool man" I remember taking his scuba class in 2001 he was a great inspiration for water aquatics showing me how to tread water for 10 minutes easily. He as a great man and I will miss him. Sorry for your loss prayers go out his family and friends.

Sybil Huskey

May 21, 2020

When my young niece and nephew took swimming lessons at the Belk Gym, Roy was so encouraging and excited about the progress they were making. He just loved people who loved water! My niece was age 6 when Roy told me that she could be an Olympic-calibre swimmer--he could spot potential. As it turned out, she went the route of volleyball, but not before holding to this day the J. M Robinson High School record in back stroke for both men and women! Roy was such a good man--dedicated to and enthusiastic about his work and those who "took the leap into the pool"!

FROM THE FAMILY

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