Lottie Charbonnet Balugo Fields, best known as LOTTIE C. FIELDS died at noon on Saturday July 17, 2010 in Pasadena, California at Huntington Memorial Hospital. She was 84.
The eternally slim Lottie, who in her younger years was often called “Little Lottie,” lived a long and vibrant life. Lottie was known to her family as Mom, Gramma, Aunt Lottie, and G-G (for great-grand).
In addition to many friends, Lottie is survived by loving family members including her two daughters, Janelle Jones of Los Angeles, and Victoria Jones of Oakland, California. Lottie will be missed by her grandchildren, Danyel Victoria Smith Wilson of New York City, Raquel Dionne Smith Williams of Los Angeles, Brandon Wells Jones of Los Angeles, and Damaris Ann Ranjitham Dickens of Sheffield Lake, Ohio. Reginald Othello Jones and Calvin Synigal will miss their feisty mother-in-law. Elliott Jesse Wilson Jr. will miss the lady he knew as “Gramma.” Lottie was a loving great-grandmother to Raquel’s children, Parker Drew Williams and Hunter Colin Williams of Los Angeles, as well as to Damaris’ Abril Lakia Tea Mills, Jerres Annie Louise Dickens, and Anthony Lamont Curry Jr. of Ohio.
Lottie will be missed by her niece Gail Brooms Clifton of Richmond, California, as well as by her grandnieces Khalief Sat-Aba Brooms Dantzler, Amorette Schiarada Brooms, and Marjorie Brooms Kinney—all of Los Angeles. Lottie was loved dearly by Khalief’s children—great-grandnieces Maia Pauline Askew and Zoe Isabella Dantzler, as well as great-grandnephew Zaire Amal-Hasaan Dantzler.
Lottie’s passing is a great loss to her sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Reid-Soskin of Berkeley, California. Lottie will be missed by Betty’s children, nephews Robert Thomas Reid and David Allen Reid, and her niece Dorian Leon Reid. Lottie leaves behind grandnieces Kokee Amanda Reid, Alyana Reid, Tamaya Reid and Rosie Reid Funk, as well as grandnephew Rhico Reid.
Born November 12, 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Lottie Allen Charbonnet and Dorson Louis Charbonnet, Little Lottie moved to Oakland with her family, eventually going on to work at the Naval Supply Center in Alameda, California. Lottie was devastated by the death of her husband, US Army Corporal Eugene Leocadio Balugo in 1951, as well as by the death of her oldest sister, Marjorie Charbonnet Brooms in 1962.
In the 1970s through the 1990s, Lottie worked as a bookkeeper, a career at which she excelled. She was married for happy years to Melvin “Buddy” Fields, and lived in a beautiful white brick house in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Lottie owned for a long time a fourplex on Pickford Avenue and Sycamore Street in Los Angeles, and for years had a lovely bungalow with a pond in the yard, in Sun City, Nevada. Lottie maintained friendships with people from each neighborhood, and often hosted guests at her homes. At the time of her death, Lottie was living in Monrovia, California. She was a superstar in her senior citizen group there, winning an award in 2008 for Volunteer Of The Year. Lottie often gave her time to worthy causes, and was valued for her brisk, savvy advice. Lottie was even a wise and winning gambler—ask the dealers in Laughlin and Las Vegas, Nevada!
Lottie was famous for her eggnog recipe, and for her Thanksgiving gravy. She was also a gifted seamstress—made beautifully detailed clothes for herself, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as for others—and always kept a pristine sewing room, wherever she lived. Lottie knitted as well—with needles and on a loom. She was noted for her impeccable sense of style, her dry, often sarcastic sense of humor, and her love of good music—mostly jazz and the blues. Lottie loved her canine kids as well. From the white poodle Gypsy, to the shih tzu Tuxedo, to her current chihuahua Blossom to the others in between, Lottie always had a special companion. Until her death Lottie remained abreast of the club of her youth, an Oakland group called The Women. She adored dancing, socializing, and having a grand time.
Lottie C. Fields lived a long and full life. She was warm, snappy, and a joy to be around, but she did not suffer fools or foolishness. She was old school—the kind of person who would tell you how she felt, regardless of circumstance. She was the kind of woman who would coach her daughter in a successful quest for a beauty contest crown, and would make a granddaughter’s prom dress by hand. Lottie showed up—early—to graduation days and weddings and picnics and birthday parties. Lottie made curtains for her daughter’s preschool. She went on cruises, and she wore cool sunglasses. Lottie stepped out in high heels—even in her eighties.
Lottie lived her life her way. She will be missed. Truly? Little Lottie is missed already.