on the passing of Dr Bill Field
Bill Field passed away several days ago due to cancer. He was just recognized as a Radon Hero by CRCPD and the E-25 committee, and Hero is an understatement for this man. Bill Field was a gentle man, and a giant in the radon community. I was fortunate to travel the regional stakeholder/state meetings circuit with him, sharing that good vibe and work, and also personal moments like when we both became grandpas. He was a national treasure for radon, and always responded to requests for help, whether it was to refute the radon deniers, or counsel lung cancer victims, even while he was in his own fight against cancer. He made a difference in every realm, in his profession and institution, in his city, in his state, for the country, and in the international radon community. Suffice it to say, our radon family’s efforts together to address radon lung cancer risk would have been far less without the decades of immense work by Dr. Bill Field. He will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace Bill.
What a loss for his family and the industry. We owe such a large debt to him for our success in radon.
May he resting peace.
Spot on Bruce!
So sorry to hear this news!
Dr Field will always be remembered as the leading authority of our time on Radon: Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, and Public Health Issues. We will also remember him as a good man and generous colleague.
We would not have this forum if not for Bill’s creation of the original Radon Listserv. That Listserv had a large and diverse group of Radon Stakeholders from throughout the Country and around the world. It was a great learning resource, debate platform, technical forum and gateway to others with radon perspectives. Dr. Field took on the immense role of host and chairperson. This sometimes-required refereeing and even banning the unsuitable posts. I was flattered when he would extend a discussion privately with me and going as far as sending technical resources (as I’m sure he did with so many others).
When he would remind us of the Listserv guidelines he would often include: “people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel” great reminder to us all.
I suggest you all check out his Wikipedia page to remember his extensive contributions.
Dr. Bill, you will be greatly missed by so many. Thank you, our old friend and colleague, for being here.
Radon Family - here is the obituary for Bill Field
Services Nov 19 in Coralville IA at 11am
Kevin M Stewart
Others above have expressed thoughts so well, but for those who'd want to read a bit more, here are a few things:
- It's been an honor to be the recipient of Bill's generosity of spirit, ranging from my first conversation with him in the 1990's when we got into our same-hometown (Lancaster, Pa.) connections, to helping my son Henry track down a high school radon-related science fair topic (Tn!) and mentor (Dan Steck!), to even just
earlier this year
, taking the time to manage the onerous QAPPs process for work on the radon disparity metric.
- We've just shared the following with the NRAP Leadership Council:
We mark the passing of R. William “Bill” Field on November 4 with sadness for his passing even as we recall him with great admiration. Many of us working on NRAP knew Bill personally and found him to be a visionary expert on radon, the most productive worker, a tireless advocate, compassionate, generous and easy-going as a person, and a dear friend. The world in which we work on saving lives from radon would be a much more difficult one were it not for Bill’s life of scientific research, perseverance and championship over the decades. Think not only of the Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Case-Control Study, the President’s Cancer Panel Report, the World Health Organization’s Handbook on Radon, the Health Care Provider’s guide and numerous studies, reports, and presentations, but also of Bill’s willingness to take the message of what all that science meant, to put it into human terms, and to use his deep knowledge and professional reputation to call for the kinds of policies that would save lives from radon-induced lung cancer.
- Finally, I close with brief excerpts from my last conversation with Bill, about
only three months ago...
Bill: "Trying to hang in there. Completed 3rd chemo with a good many issues...."
Kevin: "... I will bother you with things radon only as much as you feel it’s useful to be distracted by them.
In other words, no obligation if you get any email from me on the subject...."
Bill: "Thanks Kevin, I am still working on projects (two NIH R01 grants) at Columbia part time. It is a welcome distraction. Be well."
That last reply sums up the man pretty well, I'd say.
Kevin M Stewart
A friend, a legend, a kind and gentle soul who cared--we all loved him not only for his work and his passion but for his guidance and friendship. He touched so many lives and he will live on in our hearts. Thanks Bill for helping us on our journey.
William J Angell
I am want to share with my radon colleagues what I shared with Bill's family. As is so true for may of us in the field of radon, there are deeply personal as well as professional ties that connect us in heart and soul and spirit and it is moments like this that we must rise and recommit to the critical work we have the privilege to do everyday - - - for this how we carry the spirit of Bill Field and our colleagues forward.
Liz; Daniel, Kathryn and David,
My name is Bill Angell and Bill was a colleague on the WHO International Radon Project (IRP) and a friend.
Liz, you may recall that my wife, Michele, and our daughter visited the University of Iowa about 12 years ago when Maddie (Stead) was considering applying to the dentistry program. You and Bill took Maddie and her mom under your wings and as a result Maddie applied for and was admitted to dentistry and graduated and is today, a dentist. We are indebted to you and Bill for your caring guidance.
Going back to the WHO IRP, Bill was largely responsible for the opportunity extended to me to chair the prevention and mitigation working group in parallel to the measurement working group he chaired. This was perhaps the greatest professional gift that I have ever received. You all know, of course, this was a core character trait of your husband and father. He was always there to support you and his colleagues as well as his students.
I know he loved each of you and, to me, he was model for what I would like to be as a husband and father and grandfather.
On behalf of Maddie and Michele and radon colleagues across the world, I am grateful that your shared Bill with us. His spirit remains the light of every new day and the spirit that gives us the faith and strength to face new challenges..
Bill Angell, University of Minnesota
William J Angell
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