John Neil Fifield


john fifield

John Neil Fifield

July 15, 1932 – November 9, 2014


John Neil Fifield was born to Marian DeLaunay Fifield and Neil Lowell Fifield on July 15, 1932.  He was delivered by the midwife Mrs. Zook at Papa Zook’s home in Brawley, California.

He passed away at his home on November 9, 2014, due to a heart attack in July resulting in congestive heart failure.

He attended Magnolia School and was taught by his aunt the late Ruth Jordison in the primary grades. He graduated from BUHS class of 1950 and matriculated at the University of California at Davis in fall of 1950.

Many will remember John as a quiet and silent type, but underneath his brain was always constantly tinkering with thoughts of mechanical issues.

He would ponder for hours on ways to make tools to repair machinery and equipment for the family ranch business Fifield Land Company.  Meanwhile his brother Bob ran the office with Jacob (Jack) Kappeler  overseeing the field operations.

John loved photography  and having his own darkroom in the ranch house basement he produced then little-known color prints for a high school assignment.

The red light is still outside the darkroom!  He loved his family, work at the ranch, his ’57 Thunderbird, flying, close friends, canal fishing picnics on weekends, deep sea fishing trips, hunting, and especially his annual road trips with friend Charlie Roark to Alaska.

There didn’t seem to be a creek, river, lake, or road they have not mined for gold, fished in, or traveled on together.

Jon and Eric Jessen and John and Bob Fifield all attended UC Davis together and have remained close friends and also working together here in Imperial Valley.

John hated cats but tolerated them as his girls loved them, but he was very attached to his faithful Weimaraner dog Spook.

John met Kitty in 1969 on a blind date in Las Vegas arranged by Eric Jessen, Kitty’s cousin, while Kitty was living with her great aunt, Anna Tocher “Gran,” who was also Eric and Jon Jessen’s grandmother, while Kitty was working in the Dos Palos Hospital.

John made up his mind that she was the one, but Kitty had other plans afoot to complete first traveling to New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and Canada to visit brothers, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins.

John and Kitty were married in Lockerbie, Scotland, January 26, 1972, and returned to Brawley in February, 1972.

John was very proud of his girls, Helen and Morag, and the family enjoyed many a camper road trip to Vancouver Island during the school summer holidays.

John is survived by his wife Kitty of 42 years, daughter Helen, son-in-law Fernando Regalado, granddaughter Isabel Fifield Regalado, daughter Morag, brother Fred Fifield, and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Robert (Bob), Alcuin, and Harold, and his sister Sarah.

Many thanks to the kind and efficient staff of Gentiva Home Health Agency for their wonderful care, Aria Hospice Care, Fernando’s nephew Richie and Heidi Carrillo for her great care and comfort on Sunday.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts may be directed to:

-The Agricultural Fraternity of CALPHA Scholarship Fund and mailed to the College of Ag and Env Sci, UC David, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616.  Make check payable to UC Davis Foundation and quote CALPHA Scholarship Fund in Memo line.  For information call 530-754-8961.

-The Brawley Elks Lodge #1420, PO Box 1299, Brawley, CA 92227.

-The Arbor Day Foundation: to plant a tree in John’s memory in our national forests that have been damaged by recent fires.

-Charity of your choice.

For those of you unable to attend but wish to share a memory, please send it to to be read after cremation at John’s memorial service.  Memorial service to be officiated by the Brawley Elks Lodge BPOE 1420 at 10:00 AM on Friday, November 14, 2014, at Frye Chapel, 799 US Hwy 86, Brawley, CA 92227