Dock Fielder, last of the Black ward powerbrokers has died. After multiple recent hospital stays, the 82-year-old former 12th Ward Democratic Chairman, remembered by friends in the Sept. 21 New Pittsburgh Courier, died in his home Sept. 29.
His daughter Jacque, who succeeded him as 12th Ward chair, said she will always think of him kind of like Moses.
“He rescued a lot of people form poverty, who had no education,” she said. “He got them jobs, helped them get GEDs and go on to success.”
Even though his death was not unexpected, Jacque said it is still difficult, but the family is coping well.
“I miss him already,” she said. “We were very close, even though we disagreed a lot. I’ll miss his wisdom. He would tell me how to do something, but he wouldn’t explain why, then I’d do it my way and it wouldn’t work out. I should have taken his word for it.”
“And he taught me to be competitive,” she said. “He taught me to play cards when I was young. If I won, I’d get $10. If I lost I had to clean chitlins—I never won. Years later my mother told me he cheated, they both laughed.”
She also said while her father cultivated a gruff exterior and intimidating manner—with her and her siblings, he was a “teddy bear.”
“He was hard, but he was also a softy,” she said. “If he was ever mean to us he would feel so bad that he always make it up. If he spanked me, the next day he’d feel so bad, he’d take me out and bUy me all new clothes. Yes, we’re all going to miss him.”
In addition to Jacque, he is survived by his wife, Michelle; three sons, Anthony, Steven and Dock M.; two other daughters, Carolyn and Donna; a sister, Barbara Coleman; and 28 grandchildren and 57 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at White Memorial Chapel, 7204 Thomas Blvd., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15208, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 6, from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7 at Pentecostal Temple, 6300 East Liberty Blvd., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15206.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Kingsley Association.
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