One of the Nickel City's best known and best loved philanthropists has died.
The matriarch of one of Sudbury's founding families, Lily Fielding, passed away peacefully at her home in Long Lake on Sept. 8 at 103 years of age.
Fielding was a pillar in the community, dedicating herself to a broad array of philanthropic causes in Greater Sudbury, and the Fielding Foundation is responsible for the donation of 300 acres of bush land to the city that became Kivi Park, one of Sudbury's most popular and largest park.
The multi-use sports and outdoor park is named for Fielding’s parents, Susanna and John Kivi, and honours them as well as all families of Finnish descent who settled in the Long Lake area.
Closely tied to Laurentian University, Fielding donated to the Sudbury post-secondary institution on a number of occasions, including a $3-million donation for the school's research, innovation and engineering building (named after Clifford Fielding) in October of 2016. You can watch a video of that event below.
As recently as January of this year, Fielding donated a Group of Seven painting to Laurentian's Brenda Wallace Reading Room, inside the J.N. Desmarais Library. The room was built in memory of their daughter, Brenda, who passed away in 1997.
The year 2016 was a banner one for Fielding, as she celebrated her 100th birthday on Aug. 19. In true Lily Fielding form, much of her centennial celebration was spent giving back to her community.
Fielding announced in June of 2016, just two months shy of turning 100, that she would be donating $1 million to make the construction of Kivi Park possible. In March of 2017, Fielding announced that she would be upping her donation, adding another $2 million to bring the total to $3 million.
On the day of her 100th birthday celebration in 2016, Fielding made a $50,000 donation to a pair of local causes, donating $15,000 to Greater Sudbury Police Services and $35,000 to the city's EMS and Fire Services. The police service used its gift to help support the Chief’s Youth Initiative Fund. The EMS and Fire Services used their donation to support the NEO Kids Foundation.
In addition to her substantial donation to Kivi Park in 2017, Fielding made a $35,000 donation to NEO kids in May of 2017. In May of last year, Fielding made a matching donation to the $150,000 that was raised for Maison McCulloch's Hike for Hospice to bring their total raised up to $300,000 for the event.
Lily Fielding's legacy will be felt in Greater Sudbury for years to come, and her name will forever be synonymous with Kivi Park. In 2017, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, Fielding made a promise to have 150,000 trees planted at Kivi Park over the next decade.
The Fielding family was the recipient of a Community Builders Award in 2017.
Lily Fielding's obituary and funeral service information can be found on the Lougheed Funeral Homes website.