February 22, 2021, 82, LaGrange –
Julian William Fields III, affectionately known to all as “Speck”, passed away peacefully at Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Wayne County on February 22, 2021.
Julian was born on August 12, 1938 in Lenoir County. His parents, Julian “Spot” Fields, Jr and Frances Earle Walters, saw the tiny Julian III and thought he was too little to be a “Spot”, so, they called him “Speck”. Needless to say, the nickname stuck.
Speck had an active childhood with his siblings, Johnnie P. Fields (d. 1998) and Emma Frances Fields (“Sister”). The three had many childhood adventures in La Grange: from the “watermelon” go-cart, to the paper club house that went up in flames, to the infamous shooting. One weekend, fresh off the Saturday dime matinee cowboy flicks, the young Speck had a go at a “fast draw” and fortunately for him the bullet passed through his thigh and was easily treated by a quick trip to the hospital. Needless to say, the Fields children always kept some excitement going on at their Railroad Street home. The youngest sibling, Mable Kaye Fields, passed away in infancy.
After graduating high school in La Grange, Speck attended college at NC State and Atlantic Christian College. Upon graduation, he married Mary Ann Parks in 1966 and they had three children, Julian William IV, Mary Shannon, and Heather Parks.
Speck retired after a 30-year career with the US Postal Service in the Town of La Grange. During this time, he seemed to know EVERYONE in town and everyone in the town knew HIM, too.
He was active in the La Grange Christian Church and was a past president for the Rotary Club and JC’s. His biggest passion of all was collecting: stamps, coins, knives and all sorts of other items which attracted his attention. He was interested in Native American arrowheads, which he hunted for decades on the family farm. He also enjoyed handcrafting knives, canes and other metalwork from his finds. He never passed a junk pile he didn’t like.
His respectfulness and caring for his friends and neighbors led him to become the unofficial “Keeper of the Stones” at the Fairview Cemetery. He would carefully clean old headstones for future generations to enjoy and would add flowers to his old classmates’ graves that had none. He was extremely passionate about this role and visited the cemetery daily.
The world will be a little dimmer without “Speck”. Husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, and of course, connoisseur of fine barbecue. So, let’s raise a hushpuppy in remembrance of our father, and friend, “Speck” Fields.
Speck is survived by his sister, Emma Frances Ricks (“Sister”); his children, Julian William Fields IV, Mary Shannon Fields and Heather Parks Fields (Hart Ebersole); his grandchildren, Joseph Quinn Fields and Julian William Fields V; his nieces, Ann Frances Ricks (Matthew) and Gwendolyn Gale Gibson; his nephew John Sydney Duvall, Jr.; his great niece and nephews, Emma, William and Grafton.
There will be a service at a later date, postponed due to COVID-19. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the La Grange Christian Church, PO Box 442, La Grange, NC 28551 or the charity of your choice in Speck’s name.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. Obituary lovingly submitted by his family. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.