Jon Gregory Fields, age 70 - dessert connoisseur, businessman extraordinaire, grilled cheese master chef, lover of all things fast, shiny and vintage, private helicopter pilot, hopelessly devoted family man and utterly adored father, screeched across the finish line, tore past the checkered flag and zipped right on through those heavenly gates on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Greg was born in Knott County, Kentucky on July 14, 1947, the son of Melvin and Imogene (Pigman) Fields. The family eventually made their way to the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio, where Greg was raised alongside his three brothers - Doug, Ron and Mitch Fields in Jackson County. Greg attended Lick Local Elementary School and attended Jackson High School where he met his lifelong sweetheart, Sally. He graduated from JHS in 1966 and went on to attend The University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
After graduating from college, Greg and Sally headed down south to Live Oak, Florida where Greg accepted the position of Recreational Director for the Florida Sherriff's Boys Ranch. Throughout his life Greg shared fond memories of his often comedic and heartfelt adventures while working with at-risk youth. Although his time at the ranch was short-lived, it was valuable and positively influenced his life in many ways.
Greg and Sally moved back to Jackson in 1972 where they started their family and his entrepreneurial career began. In March of 1972 Greg entered into the waste management industry when he purchased his first landfill and established Sanitary Commercial Services in Jackson, Ohio. He grew the business substantially with three landfills servicing customers in 21 counties across Ohio and West Virginia before eventually negotiating the sale of the company and two spin-offs in 1989.
Greg tried out the retirement lifestyle for a short stint but quickly realized his heart and mind belonged in business. An avid classic car enthusiast and lover of automobiles (particularly Corvettes), Greg decided to purchase Dallas Chevrolet - a small sales, service and body shop operation in Jackson where he once worked as a salesperson during his college years. The epitome of "Go Big or Go Home" Greg eventually acquired the franchises for Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick. A savvy real estate and property management professional, Greg purchased and directed the remodeling of a Walmart store to become the headquarters for the company's GM sales, service and body shop operations, which serviced the tri-state area.
After nearly 20 years in the automobile industry, Greg closed the doors of the Dallas Automotive Group, and tried yet another futile attempt at retirement before eventually taking on the role of Operations Manager of Recycling for Alpha Omega Recycling, where he was responsible for the start-up and operations of waste stream recycling for Ohio Precious Metals in Jackson.
Greg received a number of awards and was affiliated with an array of valuable organizations in his beloved community. A few highlights include receiving an Honorary Master of Public Service from The University of Rio Grande in 1989 and then again being awarded with an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from the same institution in 2007. The Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. Greg served as a member of the Community Improvement Corporation Board in Jackson, he was a past president and member of the Jackson Area YMCA Board of Directors, past member of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association Board of Trustees, Paul Harris Fellow and past president of the Jackson Rotary Club, past Chairman of the University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees, past Vice President and member of Jackson Jaycees and Chairman of the 2007 corporate/business fundraising capital campaign at the University of Rio Grande, where he proudly helped to secure $11 million dollars for the development of University programs and facilities with $4 million dollars achieved through his own personal relationship building and networking with corporate contributors.
Greg is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sally (Jenkins) Fields, three adoring daughters, Kyle (Marty) Exline of Jackson, Shelley (Jason) Brown of Jackson, Kristin (Josh) Mauer of Virginia Beach, Virginia, ten grandchildren - Kate and Ryan Exline, Keely, Teagan and Jasper Mauer, Haydn, Norah, Thatcher, Phoebe and Rhetting Brown. He is also survived by brothers Ron (Georgia) Fields and Mitch (Amy) Fields, both of Chillicothe along with brother-in-law Don (Karen) Jenkins of Jackson. Greg is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews along with countless friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Imogene Fields, brother Doug Fields, infant son Jon Bradley, along with in-laws Don Jenkins and Marva (Jenkins) Richards and sister-in-law Patty Sue Washam.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mayhew-Brown Funeral Home at 135 Broadway Street in Jackson. Funeral services will also be held at Mayhew-Brown on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 1 p.m. with Pastor Russ Strange officiating. Greg will be laid to rest at Fairmount Cemetery in Jackson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Greg's honor to the University of Rio Grande Alumni Association, Attention: Institutional Advancement, P.O. Box 500, Rio Grande, Ohio 45674 or make an online contribution at www.rio.edu/donate. Or we encourage you to donate in his honor to The Markay Cultural Arts Center c/o Southern Hills Arts Council, P.O. Box 149, Jackson, Ohio 45640.
Condolences can be emailed to www.mayhewbrownfuneralhome.com.