Phyllis Campbell Field, 86, Little Compton

Posted 10/11/19

Phyllis Campbell Field, 86, of Little Compton, died at home on October 9, 2019, after a long illness.  She was the loving wife of Noel M. Field Jr. for 57 years.

She was the devoted mother of …

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Phyllis Campbell Field, 86, Little Compton


Phyllis Campbell Field, 86, of Little Compton, died at home on October 9, 2019, after a long illness.  She was the loving wife of Noel M. Field Jr. for 57 years.

She was the devoted mother of Ellen DeW. Field and her husband, John F. Ingalls IV, Noel M. Field III (Mac), Campbell D. Field and his wife, Heather H. Field, and Margaret F. Kelly and her husband, Tobin A. Kelly; and the grandmother of Noel A. P. Ingalls, John F. Ingalls V (Cobbler), Luke D. Ingalls, Samuel A. Ingalls, Quinn C. Kelly and Mackenzie A. Kelly.

 Phyllis was born in Chicago, lll., on August 13, 1933, to Allan Campbell and Margaret Marsden Campbell. She graduated from Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Connecticut, and from Wellesley College as a member of the class of 1955.

 She was an inspiration to her family and many who knew her. Phyllis possessed a generosity of spirit that was unwavering, demonstrating regularly that we can all do more than we think we can. She was most fulfilled when engaged with efforts that helped others, brought people together, and fostered a sense of community. Private and humble by nature, she never sought the limelight, preferring to do things behind the scenes.  Her convictions ran deep and her passions were many: wherever she saw a need, Phyllis was first to stand up and mobilize with others to answer the call. She led by example and made lasting impacts in many realms of her community.

An accomplished athlete in her school days, Phyllis channeled her competitive spirit to sailing both on and off the water for decades. She served as Commodore of the Sakonnet Yacht Club and was the first female Commodore on Narragansett Bay. She was active with the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association and, as Chair of Junior Activities, she initiated NBYA Junior Race Week, which allowed junior sailors from many yacht clubs to compete against one another.

Phyllis represented the United States as crew in the European Women’s 470 Sailing Championships and competed as crew in several Yngling class national and world championships.  After her time at the helm of the Sakonnet Yacht Club, she traveled to the other side of the harbor where she served on the board of the Sakonnet Point Club. Phyllis worked tirelessly, obtaining permits needed for the club to build its new facility, so that all could enjoy the harbor as she did.

Her passion for the arts and commitment to bringing the joy of music and theater to others enriched the lives of many. In 1970 she served as Chairman of the Board of Trinity Square Repertory Company and oversaw the purchase of the Majestic Theater. She was the Coordinator of Project Discovery, a program that brought professional theater performances into the Providence public schools.  With the Providence Preservation Society, she was co-chair of the Save Union Station/Biltmore Special Event and she served as co-chair of the Ocean State Performing Arts Center Restoration Special Event. Later, she sponsored the Ocean State Pops Orchestra to perform in Little Compton, bringing the community together to enjoy summer evenings full of music.  

Perhaps the greatest allocation of her attention, energy and resources, was spent in the realm of education. Her deep love of reading and desire to instill that in others, led her to begin her career as an English teacher at Saint Margaret’s School in Waterbury, Connecticut, and later at the Wheeler School in Providence.  When her own children arrived, she shifted her teaching talents to the Providence public school system where she was a fierce supporter and dedicated volunteer for decades. She worked tirelessly to support struggling and disadvantaged students as Chairman of the Board, fundraising chair and as an active volunteer in the Lippitt Hill Tutorial program. She was also active in the Help One Student to Succeed (HOSTS) program. With the Providence Public Schools she was a member of the District Advisory Committee.  She served on the R.I. State Board of Regents for two terms (8 years) and as a member of the Commissioner’s Council on the Disadvantaged. In addition, Phyllis served on the board of Butler Hospital for 35 years as well as the boards of Care New England and Planned Parenthood.

No memorial service is currently planned, but a gathering of family and friends will be held in the near future. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, friends consider a donation in Phyllis’ name to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or a charity of their own choosing.

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