March 5, 1926 – June 12, 2021
Fields, 95 March 5, 1926-June 12, 2021
Allen Fields, a visionary businessman who transformed a small Ohio electrical manufacturers representative firm into a nationwide industry leader, died Saturday, June 12, 2021, at his home in Pembroke Pines, Fla., with his loving family by his side. He was 95.
His long life was characterized by hard work powered by a brilliant and creative mind that saw possibilities where others didn’t. He had a legendary work ethic that propelled him to drive his gold Cadillac 80,000 miles yearly to visit customers and wake up for work at 6 a.m. well into his 70s.
He built his company, Allen Fields Associates, into a thriving business and assured its future by leaving it in the trusted hands of his son, Raymond “Skip'' Watson, who built on his legacy to make Fields Electrical Sales Inc., one of the premier electrical manufacturers representatives in the nation.
After a life of hard work, he retired to Pembroke Pines where he split his time between the golf course and his yacht, the Gay Marie, named in honor of his cherished wife.
His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were frequent visitors and just as frequently heard the story of the 180-pound sailfish that he caught but his wife wouldn’t let him mount and hang in their home along with his art collection. His favorites were Judaic-themed pieces. He loved jazz and cut a mean figure on the dance floor doing the jitterbug or a slow dance. He and Gay Marie travelled the world together and just before he died he was booking a Caribbean cruise.
Allen was a voracious reader and paid a weekly visit to the library where he checked out the maximum number of books, making sure to read them all before his next visit.
Allen Fields was born on March 5, 1926 in Brooklyn to Martha and Julius Fieldelbaum, Jewish immigrants who changed the family name. He grew up in a poor neighborhood playing stickball and hockey. Allen started working when he was 12 at his uncle’s company that manufactured products for the hair salon industry.
His parents didn't have much money but stressed the importance of an education -- advice Allen promptly ignored when he enlisted in the Army Air Force right out of high school.
He wanted to fight the Nazis but was instead sent to the Pacific Theater where he was a navigator on B-29 bombers during World War II, serving from1944 to 1946.
He earned a reputation as a fearless airman and an equally fearless boxer.
After his honorable discharge he enrolled at Brooklyn College on the G.I. Bill, where he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1947 followed by a law degree in 1951.
He quickly discovered that he didn’t like being a lawyer and when an opportunity arose to work at an electrical manufacturer representative firm in Columbus, Ohio, he took it.
The Block and Cooper Agency was a small company that specialized in lights for Christmas trees and home fixtures when Allen started there in 1953.
But he saw other possibilities.
He packed up his Cadillac and drove over rutted country roads to visit remote coal mines to ask workers what kind of electrical cables and other electrical products they needed.
Soon he had a reputation as a wire maven -- an expert. He worked with customers to understand what they needed and helped develop new products. He is still known as a creator of the Carol Vu-Tron cable.
He was relentless, visiting potential customers all over Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other places. Allen was so afraid of missing a business call that he spent many thousands of dollars in the 1980s to buy a newfangled device called a car phone so he could work on the go.
Allen became a partner in 1963 and sole owner of Allen Fields Associates in 1982. He took the company in directions that no one had thought of and guided its exponential growth. Even after his retirement, he watched with pride as his son Skip grew the company even further.
When he wasn’t working he enjoyed his Thursday night poker game with his buddies.
Nothing brought him more happiness than his beloved wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In Columbus he was a member of Temple Israel and later joined Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla.
In addition to his wife Gay Marie and son Skip Watson he is survived by a daughter, Sharon Edelman and son-in-law Sam Edelman, grandson Ian Preston Edelman and great-granddaughters Lilly and Collette. Grandson Michael Christopher Edelman and great-grandchildren Audrey and Joshua. Grandson Benjamin Jay Edelman and his wife Stephanie Edelman, great-granddaughter Victoria. Grandson Daniel Stephan Edelman and his wife Marcy Edelman and great-grandson Jack Edelman. Grandson Andrew Cory Edelman and his wife Andrea Romero Edelman and great-granddaughters Bella and Penelope.
He is also survived by a daughter, Diane Meryl Fields Clay, son-in-law Franklin D. Clay, grandson Shawn Russell Howard, granddaughter Rachel Dee Kurstin, her husband Greg Kurstin and one great grandson and one great granddaughter . Granddaughter Jessica Clay Stahl, her husband Sam Stahl and great-grandchildren Bodhi River Stahl and Vivian Renee Stahl.
He is also survived by a son, Perry Franklin Watson and his wife Jennifer Scharenberg; son Raymond “Skip” Watson and his wife, Amy Watson and her mother, Barbara Harrison; granddaughter Hanna Mihok, her husband Kyle Mihok and their son Kellan Mihok; granddaughter Whitney Middleton and her husband Joshua Middleton; granddaughter Eva Havens her husband Joseph Havens, great-grandson , Sayer Havens. Son Mark Fields and his wife Sally and grandchildren Max and Amy Fields.
He is also survived by a brother, Harvey Fields.
A brother, Dr. Bernard Nathan Fields, died earlier.
Menorah Gardens and Funeral Chapel, 21000 West Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches, Fla., 33332, is handling arrangements.
The family asks that memorial donation be made to VITAS Community Connection, PO Box 645352, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45264-5352.
Monday, June 14, 2021
June 16, 2021
Sincerest of Sympathies..
Gary, Don & Connie, Dan, Richard Jr & Carole.
Too many memories
June 14, 2021
Allen was / is an icon of the electrical industry. I was lucky to have worked with him, Skip and Russell for many years. He truly was a gentleman and always a pleasure to be around.
May God Bless Allen and his family.