Douglas N. Field, beloved husband, father, brother and solider, passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 from complications of a devastating, unexpected stroke. He was 71 years old.
Born on November 24, 1945 in Orange, N.J., Douglas was the son of Albert and Marjorie Field. Douglas’s father passed away at only age 37, and his mother Marjorie later remarried Arthur Hart who had two children – Susan and Allan – from a previous marriage.
From 1963 to 1965, Douglas attended Rutgers University until duty and patriotism spurred him to enlist in the army airborne infantry. After completing jump school, he was assigned to the 1st brigade, 101st Airborne Division – an elite force known for air assault operations in the most challenging locations.
In 1966, Douglas arrived in Vietnam and did two tours of active duty with the B Co., 2-327 Infantry Regiment, which was assigned to conduct search-and-destroy operations against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong enemy forces. His battalion also fought in the horrific Battle of Hill 86 on September 17, 1966.
He was honored for his service and bravery with numerous commendations, including an Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and V Device, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Vietnam Campaign Medal. Unit awards include two Presidential Unit Citations, Valorous Unit Award and Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
After his army discharged, Douglas completed his college education at Rutgers University. To start his next chapter of life, Douglas joined Pan American World Airways in New York City, beginning a 32-year career in the airline industry.
In 1991, Douglas and his son Brian moved to Atlanta, Ga. to join Delta Air Lines. At Delta, Douglas held leadership positions in domestic and international sales and marketing, including part of the teams that launched the iconic Sky Miles program and Starwood Hotel Group Partnership. His favorite accomplishment at Delta, however, was meeting his future wife, Arline at Delta, through a set-up of mutual friends. Doug often recounted that the two best days of his life were the birth of his son Brian and the day he met Arline. He called himself the luckiest man in the world.
Though a battle-toughened soldier and savvy airline executive, Douglas had a happy, gentle spirit that shone brightly to friends and family. He was famous for always being a gentleman, joking, his wide circle of friends and his epic love of good hospitality. He was also an avid athlete, running 6 marathons including the New York City Marathon.
An eloquent conversationalist, Douglas had the knack of immediately putting people at ease by finding a common connection. He never met a stranger, and enjoyed traveling around the world.
Throughout his life, he sought to preserve his battalion’s history. He was a lifetime member of the 101st Airborne Association and the 101st Vietnam Veterans Association. Each year, he and his wife Arline attended the 101st reunions. His wartime experience was captured by invitation from the Atlanta Historical Society, where his story is now preserved for generations to come.
Douglas leaves behind his wife Arline Palmer Field; son Brian Hart Field (son of Douglas and Roxann Field) and his wife Erin; stepdaughter Kellie Palmer Hannon, her husband Travis and their daughter London (granddaughter); stepbrother Allan Hart and his wife Audrey; stepsister Susan Hart Haggan and her husband Edward; and multiple nieces, nephews, and cousins.
To bid farewell to this American hero, a wake will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Carmichael-Hemperley Funeral Home located at 135 Senoia Rd, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269. The funeral service will be Friday, October 13 at 10 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 101 Walt Banks Rd, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to In Their Honor Transports, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Carmichael-Hemperley Funeral Home, 770-631-9171.