Remembering Roy Fielding

It is with a heavy heart the Fielding and Westbrook families must share that Roy Fielding passed away unexpectedly. He was and always will be the best of the best, The Pool Professor, family to us, mentor to so many people, and of course, loving husband to Mary Gaye. We are trying to find a way to move through the world without his incredible presence. It won’t be easy and it never will be when someone who is so profound and who has left such an impact on the world leaves it. We are working to create a memorial worthy of his legacy, love, and impact. As a start, we ask that if you wish to support us, please donate to Roy and Mary Gaye’s existing student support funds. Our family is heartbroken. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts in regards to Roy and the rest of the family.

The Fielding and Westbrook Families


Roy left behind a profound legacy known to so many. We ask that you share your favorite story of Roy or your condolences for the family if you would prefer.

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25 entries.
Alan Carlson from too many to list wrote on July 27, 2020 at 3:19 pm:
Roy served on Many National Aquatic advisory positions. He helped so many and in so many ways. He was my friend and a Professional that I could also count on with direct honesty. Roy and I shared a few meals together when I was in Charlotte and he always had insight to our common filed of Aquatics. Roy taught my CPO classes and those employed by me. At one time we even talked about working together within the CPO classes/business. I will miss him and his insights. But more to the point my prayers and thought are to his family. He was a great man and your family is always welcome to contact me till we meet again in heaven. Sincerely, Alan Carlson BS, MS-ED, CPO
Mark Meloy from Leesburg, VA wrote on July 24, 2020 at 10:24 am:
I was looking to get re-certified for my CPO and the first name that came into my head was Roy Fielding, the Pool Professor. So sad to hear of his passing. He was a great instructor. Took his course at University of Charlotte and he knew every inch of pvc piping in that building. He knew his stuff, forward and backward, having many publications to boot, and I am sure a litany of requests from professional pool operators and large pool venues alike to keep their water in balance. I did not know him outside of my brief interactions with him taking his courses multiple times over the last 15 years, but he always remembered me, and while he was a very important figure in his profession, he was so down to earth, and he was at his base, a great teacher. He could make the lesson applicable to people of varying professional backgrounds, and he had a very timely sense of humor. In today's world, a not often seen commodity. I am sorry for his loss.
Gillian Tuttle from Moravian Falls, NC wrote on July 20, 2020 at 10:16 am:
I am shocked and saddened by the news Mr. Fielding passed away. I had taken the CPO class and recerts many times over the years. Roy was an excellent and enthusiastic teacher. He always had time to answer questions that I sent him over the years via email. My deepest sympathy to the family.
Liz Castillo from Palm Desert wrote on June 30, 2020 at 3:05 pm:
What an amazing man, heartfelt condolences 🙏❤
Zack Xiong from Albemarle wrote on June 15, 2020 at 3:14 pm:
My dear my friend, coach, mentor, guidance, and professor Roy. I can not believe this...I just can’t...How suddenly and sad that you have left all of ya behind. I have many things I wanted to tell you and share with you. How much you inspired me and changed me. I wanted to come and visit you in the beautiful mountains like how you always explained it to me. I always had you in my thoughts and not a single time when I don’t I think of you. You shaped me in a way no other friend have. You pushed me to become better and stronger. Now that you are gone, how I do it by myself? Roy, my dear friend, it was a honor to be one of your scuba diving student and dive masters. We know you are in a better place now and god have received another beautiful angel. This is not a goodbye, we will meet again. Sib Ntsib Dua Kuv Tus Phooj Ywg: See You Again My Dear Friend.
Jack Robertson Scuba Clean Pools from Winston Salem wrote on May 27, 2020 at 4:28 pm:
Roy I will miss you but I am sure I will see you one day in heaven . We have shared a friendship for a long time and I will always remember the pool conversations we had and the importance of safety in and around swimming pools . However working together with swimming pools is a small thing , compared to a great friendship . I have prayed for comfort for your family and I am in daily prayer for Your wife and family and those who knew you and loved you . I am fortunate to have known you and I live a better life because of having a knowledgeable friend like you . For all my employees at Scuba Clean we will deeply miss you and thank you so much for visiting us just two weeks ago in Clemmons . OUR LOSS IS HEAVENS GAIN . Jack Robertson
Vicki Baptista from Concord NC wrote on May 27, 2020 at 10:23 am:
Our hearts are broken at the news of Roy's sudden passing. He was definitely a gem. A very sweet man in all my dealings with him. He will be missed for sure. God bless his family and my prayers are with you all.
Aj Crawley from Morganton,NC. wrote on May 22, 2020 at 6:03 pm:
Wow!!! What a loss to our communities and our entire state. Roy was an awesome, awesome , awesome human being and a gem. I have taken his classes numerous times and always felt he was one of the best teachers I have ever learned from. I'm a better person having known him. This is usually reserved for US Navy sailors, but the amount of time he spent in water and the ocean, I believe it's appropriate here. " Fair Winds and following seas" Doc . Thank you for everything!
Shirley Pennell from Asheville, NC wrote on May 20, 2020 at 3:25 pm:
We scheduled our staff with Mr. Fielding's CPO classes. He was such an amazing instructor and anytime we had a question, he graciously assisted us in all aspect of pool information. He will be greatly missed by everyone. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family during this time.
Allison Nelson from Charlotte, NC wrote on May 20, 2020 at 10:56 am:
I came to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the swim team in the fall of 1988, and Roy Fielding was our coach. Being part of the Swim team was such a formative time in my life. I loved it all - the hard work, the friendships formed that have lasted all these years, and the lessons learned in and out of the pool that extended into life. Roy was our parent on hand as well as our coach. He would take us each into his office from time to time and have heart to heart talks about different issues we each faced. He helped me through a few rough patches over the years. And although we thought we were getting away with things, he always knew what was going on and reminded us that he knew with his sly comments and sarcastic wit. I remember going over to his house after Hurricane Hugo and helping clean up the yard. We were family. I always enjoyed seeing Roy and Mary Gay at basketball and football games over the years. Both our families have been season ticket holders for years. It was such a comfort to see a piece of my past college life. I just always assumed he would be there. Roy, you will always be remembered fondly. Thanks for the memories and the support.
Tom Hudnall from Clemmons wrote on May 20, 2020 at 10:40 am:
I am so sorry for your loss. Roy helped to certify my pool operating certification a couple of weeks ago. We talked on the phone that day about pool stuff and then just talked for about twenty more minutes. I am glad that I had the chance to talk with him. Prayers with you all!
Brent Tomberlin from Granite Falls wrote on May 20, 2020 at 10:15 am:
My college swim coach died last week. Roy Fielding worked for more than 40 years at UNC Charlotte. He taught many classes like scuba and water safety; working with a great number of colleagues and students as part of the school’s Department of Kinesiology. He also coached the university’s men’s and women’s swimming teams for a time. The pool underneath the school’s campus gym is named for him. As many students and swimmers reflected about his passing, they mentioned his incredible ability to encourage them in their endeavors. Many swimmers remembered his kindness and his sarcastic humor. The one big truth is coach was involved in the lives of his students, his swimmers, his colleagues, and his family. Speaking for all of us, he helped us move into careers, celebrated accomplishments, wished us well on Facebook, and never stopped supporting us. A few examples here to give anyone who didn’t know Coach Fielding a look into his life. Coach took over the Charlotte men’s and women’s teams during the ‘88-89 season. I made the team that year as a freshman walk on. He treated all of his athletes the same regardless if they were on scholarship or not. He called you out if you were not working up to expectations and he praised you when accomplishments came. For example, when the swim teams returned to campus after the first semester, he met you on the side of the pool with a copy of your semester grades. It was like a scene from “Lord of the Rings.” Some athletes were allowed to pass by him and practice. A few folks were sent home. At the close of the ‘92 season, when the swimming program was cancelled at the university, Coach and others organized a last swimming banquet. Coach had taken the time to individually type out, print, and tape a message onto those things for the people he was gifting them to. Who does that? When my turn came to be recognized, he presented a plaque from one of the championship meets the teams had been successful at. On the bottom, my taped message simply said, “Bulldog.” Coach knew he could put me in any event and I would not complain. The lesson stays with me today in my life. When tough decisions come, I remember the words and advice he always gave me.. Coach had a great confidence about him. He was the same guy in the classroom as on the pool deck. He wanted your attention and he wanted each of his students, as well as swimmers, to strive for excellence and mastery. He demanded something from each of us, but always found ways to keep encouraging each person he came in contact with. His ability to be real. His ability to be honest sticks with me. Even after college, he became my instructor when obtaining a certified pool operator license. He was the same, didn’t give me special treatment, and held me to the standard. Hearing the news of his passing was hard. No one is ever prepared. I had to read the Facebook notification a few times to be sure I was really reading what I was reading. The comments which came after the post from swimmers and students were a reminder we all shared the same communal experiences with Roy Fielding. His life was a gift to all of us in so many ways. It was hard to hear of his passing because all of us who knew him recognize a small chunk of what made the world great is missing.
Tom Long from Huntersville wrote on May 20, 2020 at 9:11 am:
Roy will be sorely missed on several levels. His knowledge, humor and his willingness to help will stand out for me. He was an amazing man that had a positive impact on THOUSANDS of people. Hopefully that knowledge will provide a bit of solace during this difficult time. Please accept my families deepest condolences.
Sinan Kender from Istanbul, Turkey wrote on May 20, 2020 at 8:29 am:
I am deeply saddened to hear Roy's passing. I took Scuba Diving for 2 semesters in 1995 in UNCC, and I am still diving. Roy was a fantastic and thorough instructor and I learned so much from him. He had a great sense of humour which made his classes so much fun. RIP Roy, my prayers are with you and your family...
Mike Guerin from Maryland wrote on May 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm:
I am a proud 49er that attended UNCC from 1987-1991. I was also a member of the men's swim team for those four years and I speak for the entire UNCC swimming family when I say that we are so saddened by his passing and how tough it must be on Mary Gaye. We forever thank Roy for his love, support and all of the wonderful memories. But most of all, we thank him for fostering an amazing UNCC swimming family that, 30 years later, is still going strong. We are still here for each other and are FOREVER a part of his legacy…
Alvin Sellars from Chapel Hill wrote on May 19, 2020 at 4:39 pm:
Roy was one of the nicest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He taught countless managers and employees pool operations and helped them get their CPO with our company over many years. The one thing I remember about Roy is that he always treated everyone with respect, no matter what. To his family, he was a great man and his legacy and name are honorable.
Carrie Langley- Piedmont Triad Apartment Association from Greensboro wrote on May 19, 2020 at 1:03 pm:
Roy taught CPO to our industry members for 19 years. As students would leave his class, we would hear comments like, "Yeah, this guys knows his stuff," or "He is an amazing instructor!" We have always been so confident that our members were receiving the best instruction when it came to pool safety. Roy was always so easy to work with, fun to talk to, and so dependable. We will surely miss seeing him in our office and sharing fun travel stories. Sending our condolences to his family. We will miss Roy greatly.
William Kohlenberg from Greensboro wrote on May 19, 2020 at 11:35 am:
My sincere condolences to Roy's family. I first met Roy 15 years ago when I took my first CPO class. I was 17 years old and he made it known throughout the class..."You have a 17 year old pool manager _________________(fill in the blank)." I thought I had it rough until maybe 5- 10 years later I meant a health inspector that took his class. Roy helped me get started in the pool industry and has help guide me since. Rest in peace.
Wendy Motch-Ellis from Asheville wrote on May 19, 2020 at 11:33 am:
We are so sorry to hear about Roy's passing. He has been an incredible resource and mentor for many of us. and has trained all of our current CPOs at UNC Asheville. He was always willing to answer questions and provide guidance. He will be greatly missed and we send our love to his family.
JoAnna Dougan from Charlotte wrote on May 18, 2020 at 10:39 pm:
I’m so sorry to hear of Roy’s passing. I enjoyed getting to know him through his pool instruction for the local apartment association for over a decade. He also was kind making the time to and help me on a personal level at UNCC. Roy was a consummate professional and a genuinely great person. His body of work has impacted thousands of people and he leaves quite a legacy. Prayers to his wife and family until you meet again.
Tricia Crabtree from Myrtle Beach/Greensboro, NC wrote on May 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm:
So sorry to hear this... he certainly was a class act. I remember in 2001, I was the Admin Asst at PTAA, formerly TAA, in Greensboro and was given the lead to call him and get him scheduled to teach our CPO classes. He had never worked with us at the PTAA but, had taught CAA's CPO classes for several years. He was such an AMAZING person to work with and.... an even more amazing instructor. He will sure be missed by all that knew him!! My heart aches for all of you. Prayers for comfort and peace. #ThePoolProfessor
Pat Dorcy-Greater Charlotte Apartment Association from Charlotte wrote on May 18, 2020 at 1:57 pm:
I had the pleasure of working with Roy through the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association for 15 years. Roy was a talented and reliable instructor who taught many of our members over the course of 20 years. We were lucky to have such a highly credentialed professional in his field teaching for us. He will be missed by members and staff alike.
Becky Parmer King from Harrisburg/Concord NC wrote on May 18, 2020 at 11:32 am:
I'm so sorry to hear this news! My Brother, Carl Parmer, and I both were Scuba students of Roy's at UNCC, and my best college memories are from the trips to the Caymans to dive with him and other 49ers. He certainly will be missed by the UNCC community and has left an amazing legacy behind. We will keep your family in our prayers. I have been a high school teacher for 18 years and every year tell stories of my diving on those trips to encourage my Senior students to take scuba if they attend UNCC!!!
Allen Shellenbarger from Charlotte wrote on May 17, 2020 at 11:05 pm:
Roy was my first exercise science advisor and I would go to his office just to talk because he was so cool to talk to. Infact, I think I was one of the first students he told when he was stepping down from advising and just sticking to pool related stuff. This really hits hard, he was a great teacher, advisor, and friend. I am honored just to have known him. Thanks Roy for all the conversations
Sophia Marshall from Charlotte wrote on May 17, 2020 at 4:46 pm:
On Friday evening, I received some shocking and sad news that my friend and co-worker of 20 years, Roy Fielding, passed away. Roy was a UNC Charlotte staple, and had just retired after dedicating 40+ years to the university. The Belk Pool, which was his happy place, was to be named in his honor in March but due to the quarantine, it was postponed. I really wish he could have seen this happen because he deserved it. Roy was my "boyyyy"! I was straight out of graduate school and just started my job at UNCC when he taught me my 1st hard lesson about being a professional by telling me "NO, your lack of preparation is not my emergency"...and you better believe I came back CORRECT every time after that. Roy was tough and sarcastic, he didn't mix words and you knew exactly where you stood with him. However, he was also kind and generous, caring, helpful, funny, and a great friend and man. He will be missed! #rip #thepoolprofessor My deepest condolences to his wife, Mary Gaye and the rest of his family & loved ones. I'm praying for your peace and comfort during this difficult time.