'She was always a smile, a laugh, a kind heart’: Pikeville Independent employee dies unexpectedly
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The Pikeville Independent School District is remembering one of its own after she died unexpectedly in her home Monday.
Carla Fields was more than a chauffeur and her warmth extended far past the school’s kitchen. Fields served as a cook and bus driver for the district for years, touching the lives of students in the elementary school as well as the high school.
“She was just a genuine person. A happy person who brought smiles to all of those around her," said Transportation Director Chris McNamee. “And she will truly be missed.”
Fields drove bus 101 and taught a course in Kindness 101 by simply living her life. Those who worked with her said Fields always went beyond the call of service, and always did so with a smile on her face.
“What she does is immeasurable. That smile and that pat on the back and it’s okay," said Girls Basketball Coach and Food services Director Kristy Orem. "People are born with that and she had it.”
They said she used her heart and loving personality to become a part of the athletic department, driving teams like the girls' basketball program to away games and other events.
“A lot of bus drivers will take kids to the ball games and just sit on a bus or do whatever, but she wanted to be a part of what the kids are a part of. And if they won she was happy with the kids and if they lost, she felt that as well," said McNamee.
Students said she was like family.
“We’d be talking about something- like drama or something from school- and she’d be like, ‘Ooh, I wanna know. What’s happening?’ And she’d go back there and sit with us. She’d play music, we’d have carpool karaoke," said basketball player Trinity Rowe. “I don’t know if she knew how much we appreciated her.”
Rowe said that support meant everything to the girls and was always heard, no matter the volume of the room.
“If she’d hear us miss a shot she’d be like, ‘Come on, girls!'" she laughed.
Fields’ love and devotion to her job, according to Orem, was a great example to set for the girls who relied on her for much more than a ride.
“She was just such a genuine person who would do absolutely anything," Orem said. “She was always a smile, a laugh, a kind heart.”
The Panthers will continue to keep her legacy alive and always remember the support she gave, dedicating this season to her.
“I think it’ll be a little different without her being there, but we’ll dedicate this season to her and try to win for her,” Rowe said.
Fields' funeral arrangements are under the direction of JW Call and Son Funeral Home.
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