Molly Fields, whose love and laughter will be missed by countless friends and family members, passed away peacefully in Laguna Hills, California on June 16, 2008. She was a seventh generation Californian who proudly traced her roots back to Thomas J. Donahue, an Irish seaman who fell in love with Mariana Cordero, whose Spanish family was part of the garrison at the Presidio in Santa Barbara. Beginning in 1882, her ancestral grandparents helped rebuild the Santa Ines Mission before moving to their own ranch on the Santa Ynez River.
Born in Berkeley on Christmas Eve in 1953, Mary Eleanor Groh was known universally as Molly. Along with her three brothers and sister, she was raised in Palo Alto and Rio del Mar in Santa Cruz before attending the University of California in Santa Barbara. Graduating with degrees in sociology and urban history, she entered the burgeoning surf fashion industry, marketing for Deckers. She then became the first woman to work in the national sales organizations of Genesco before moving on to Innocence, one of the first international startups in the US fashion shoe industry.
In 1979, Molly married Wesley Fields, who she first met while working as an undergraduate in the UCSB library. In keeping with her family legacy, the wedding was held at the San Fernando Mission. After her husband graduated from medical school at USC and completed his residency training at Harbor/UCLA, the couple moved to Laguna and settled in Monarch Beach. Her career was interrupted by a series of infertility procedures, which ultimately threatened her life. The couple then adopted their son, Paris Robert, and daughter, Kathryn Lee. In addition to her own family, Molly dedicated herself to serving children through RH Dana Elementary School, the Capistrano Unified District PTA, South Orange County School of the Arts, Ocean Hills Church and Capistrano Valley Church, and Niguel Shores Community Association. She considered leading the Children’s Parade on the 4th of July in her community her highest honor. NSCA has announced plans to rename the Sand Castle Contest on Dana Strand in her honor.
Molly was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000. Her battle since then has been a source of inspiration to many other patients with cancer or other chronic disease, as well as her friends and family. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that loved ones consider donations to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund or World Vision.