Alva Fields

Alva Dotson Fields, 84, formerly of Chattanooga, died Thursday morning, Feb. 20, 2014, in Atlanta. She was born and raised in Riceville, Tenn., and was educated in Knoxville, with a bachelors degree from Knoxville College in 1958 and master degree from the University of Tennessee. It was while she was attending Knoxville College that she met James H. Fields III. In 1961, she became the first African American to become a case supervisor in the Knoxville welfare department. By 1966, she was the area trainer and supervisor for the Hamilton County Office of the Tennessee Department of Public Welfare (DPW). Following her next role as Deputy Director of this office, she was selected as the Director of the Hamilton County Office of the Tennessee Department of Public Welfare in 1973, the first African American woman to ever be appointed to that level in the State. Her 35 years working in social services included a tenure with the University of North Alabama School of Social Work and then as a counselor, teacher, and Department Head at Chattanooga State Technical and Community College. She was a member of the Chattanooga Chapter of LINKS, Inc. serving as president from 1991-1993. She was also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She served on numerous boards in Chattanooga including the American Red Cross, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and the Florence Crittenden Home for unwed mothers. She was a founding board member of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Urban League as well as Family and Children's Services. She served as chair of the Metropolitan Council of Community Services as well as the Task Force on Teen Pregnancies for Chattanooga Venture. She received numerous honors and accolades including the 1984 Social Worker of the Year in Tennessee by the National Association of Social Workers, a Social Worker of the Year nomination for the State of Alabama, 1996 African American Women of Influence by Girls, Inc. and 1996 Women of Distinction recognition by the American Lung Association and Proffitts. In 2002, she received the Black Pioneer Woman Award from the Chattanooga Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Upon her retirement, Alva devoted her time to painting, needlework, and travel. She was an active member of Fairview and Renaissance Presbyterian Churches in Chattanooga where she played organ and served as an Elder. She and James joined Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA in 2009. Though she received numerous honors based on her dedication to her calling to serve others, it was her faith in God and her family that sustained her and who she loved dearly. Alva is survived by the love of her life and husband of 58 years, James H. Field III, two adoring sons Gordon(Lillian) of Cypress, Texas and James Fields IV of Atlanta, GA and a loving daughter, Sherri ( Eduard) Weathers of Atlanta, Ga. She is also survived by her three grandsons who loved her dearly: Eduard, Alvan and Gordon II. She is also survived by her brothers who meant so much to her Marquis Dotson Sr. of Athens, Tn. and Malcolm (Joyce) Dotson Sr. of Detroit, Mich. She will be lovingly remembered by her nephews, nieces, cousins, and her great extended family and close family friends. Celebration of her life and loving memories will be held Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014 at the Cascade United Methodist Church 3144 Cascade Rd. SW Atlanta, GA 30311 with family receiving friends at 10 a.m. and services immediately following at 11 a.m with Rev. Dr. Marvin Moss officiating. Memorial services will be held in Chattanooga, with The Chattanooga Links Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority services held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at the Hardwick-Trammell Chapel 913 East Martin Luther King Blvd. Entombment will immediately follow at the Hamilton Memorial Gardens in Chattanooga. Services of loving memory entrusted to M.D. Dotson and Sons Funeral Home Cleveland, Tenn.

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