Fixing copy machines was the perfect job for Jack Fields.
For one thing, he was handy, said his daughter Jodie Fawl.
And for another, he liked to talk.
“He did have the gift of gab,” said his son Andy Fields.
The Lincoln man spent most of his career at Xerox and, when they offered him early retirement he jumped at it, Andy said. “Without even asking mom.”
The copier man did take another job at A.B. Dick and kept making the rounds, fixing machines and making friends. He pursued art, too, paintings and sculptures and leatherwork that won him prizes in the competitions he entered.
He was a hands-on dad. He coached Andy’s baseball teams and didn’t miss one of his sporting events — or a Husker football game.
The Lincoln High and Omaha University grad was an Eagle Scout and even though Andy didn’t make it that far, he remembers one camping trip during his scouting years when his dad helped him pitched their tent.
“There were 70 mph winds during the night and in the morning, ours was the only tent standing,” he said. “I was pretty proud of that.”
Jack’s health had declined and the 87-year-old lived at Tabitha’s Elizabeth House for the last three years.
“Mom died in February 2020, so he had most of the year without her,” Jodie said. “I feel bad for his last year.”
Jack and Nancy — married for 63 years — loved to travel. Hawaii was one of their favorite spots. Each time they returned he’d say: We’re going back to the islands.
They were a perfect couple, Jodie said. Her dad joked that the secret to their marriage was he stayed up late and got up late and she went to bed early and got up early.
The great-grandfather needed a wheelchair to get around, but his mind was sharp.
“He just had such a great sense of humor and all the staff really loved him,” his daughter said. “He was a good housemate to have.”
And he was a good dad to have, too.
“He was, I guess you'd say, the definition of unconditional love,” his son said. “He was a really good man.”
And he was a fun dad, Jodie said.
“He would pick me and my friends up from basketball games at the old Coliseum and take us to some random residential place and we’d do fire drills around the car.”
In one of his daughter’s favorite family photos, her dad is wearing a Santa shirt. He looked like Santa, too, she said, with his white hair and beard.
When he went to the hospital on Dec. 3, sick with COVID, she posted a plea for prayers on Facebook. She called him “the amazing and awesome Jack Fields.” She called him “a tough old dude.”
Five days later, she posted an update.
“We lost a sweet, clever, kind, artistic man who gave the best hugs around. We love him dearly and miss him more than we can say.”
— Cindy Lange-Kubick