Josephine Hay Fields was born on April 9, 1929 the youngest daughter of the late Fred Hay Sr. and Josephine (Warren) Hay. Shortly after she was born, her mother passed away leaving her to be raised by her father with the assistance of her 13 siblings. She was born in Smoaks, South Carolina. Josephine went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 26, 2020 in Brooklyn, NY. Graveside Service will be held Monday, May 11, 2020 at Heavenly Rest Memorial Garden, Walterboro, South Carolina at 1:00 p.m. Pastor Sheman Gethers, Eulogist. A public viewing will be held Sunday, May 10, 2020 at Stephens-Maree-Tracy Funeral Home Chapel of Serenity from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Josie, as many of them called her, lived with her sister Earlene Harris in Washington, DC for a while before moving to New York with her older brother Alfonzo Hayes and his wife Anna Wilson. She then resided with her sister, Elether Stokes and her husband Willie Stokes. She had a very close relationship with her sister Bessie Williams, who nurtured and protected her. All of her siblings adored her and was instrumental in helping her mature into a beautiful, young woman.
While in New York, Josephine met and fell in love with Daniel Fields. It was love at first sight. They dated for a short period and on October 7, 1946 they were united in Holy Matrimony. Her brother, the esteem Reverend Fred Hay, performed the wedding ceremony. To this union two children were born, a daughter Brenda Fields-Lee and a son, Daniel Jr. Both of her children preceded her in death along with all of her brothers and sisters. The end of an era, the last surviving child from the union of Fred Sr. and Josephine Hay.
Josephine worked at Wartburg Nursing Home for over 26 years as a Dietary Aide. Her lifelong dream was moving back “home” to South
Carolina to live after retirement. Josephine and Danny purchased the land and built their house after retiring in 1987. Josephine achieved her dream. She moved to Walterboro, South Carolina with her husband in a Pink and Black house, with plans of living out the rest of their lives together, close to family. She was especially proud of her Pink house; the only pink house on the block, at that time. Special thanks to her cousins, The McMillians, The Fields and other close family members for their assistance in helping Josie and Danny settle in Walterboro. This proved to be a great decision.
Josephine was a generous person who made you feel welcome anytime you came to visit. She welcomed you into her home with open arms providing a place to lay your head and eat of one of her “Down Home Cooked Meals. Josephine was a phenomenal cook. Family would often visit during holidays and family gatherings because they knew she would be cooking for the occasion. This is how she earned the nickname “Cook” by her grandkids, great grandkids and their friends. She was affectionately known as “Aunt Fene” by all of her Nieces and Nephews. Emily and Virginia from Brooklyn NY had a special bond with her knowing she was the Matriarch. She possessed the special gift of making everyone feel special no matter who you were.
Josephine was a woman of God. She was a member of Southern Baptist Church in Brooklyn NY under the leadership of her brother, Reverend Fred Hay. In her younger days Josephine was a member of a singing group called the Jackson Singers, a singing group that traveled spreading the Gospel and ministering through music. Shortly after moving back to South Carolina, Josephine rededicated her life back to God and joined Greater Goodwill Evangelistic Mission, under the leadership of Reverend Sherman Gethers. She got Saved, became a devoted member, the Mother of the Church, and was later ordained as a Licensed Missionary. These were some of the best days of her life. She enjoyed going to different churches, visiting people in the hospitals and nursing homes, praying for them and telling them about the Goodness of Our God.
You would often find Josephine sitting under her carport listening to Gospel music on her radio. Such a wonderful Soul. When asked, “How are you doing”? Her favorite response would be “I’m Holding On”! We all knew what that meant. She was “Holding On” until God was ready for her. Her work is now done.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Danny Fields Sr.; her daughter Brenda Fields-Lee; and son Danny Fields Jr. and all of her siblings, Fred, Oscar, Jessie, James (DJ), Thomas, Lawrence, Alphonzo, Earlene, Beesie, Elether, Dorothy and Louvenia Hay.
Josephine leaves to cherish her memory, her grandchildren, James Lamont Lee, Robert Donnell Lee, Tracy Yvette Lee, of Brooklyn, NY and Purcell Normen Lee (Danyelle Lee) of Stafford, VA; her 4 great-grands: Bernard Sr., Robert Jr., Anthony, Michael, Isaiah, Tyler, and Aiyanna; 5 great-great grandchildren, Breyana, Bernard Jr., Brendan, Aundra and Blessin Lee, many nieces, nephews, and a host of relatives and friends.
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