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Retired political science professor, 78, dies

Aug. 23, 2004

By ERICA DELEON, staff writer

Dr. L. Gerald Fielder, professor emeritus of political science, died at the age of 78 on Aug. 8 in San Angelo.

Fielder was born on April 26, 1926, in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, to Maudie and Wilson Fielder. Maudie and Wilson were missionaries to China.

In 1944 Fielder entered Baylor to pursue an occupation in teaching. He also earned a master's degree from Vanderbilt University, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from American University.

Fielder was an instructor of political science from 1949 to 1951 and served as a faculty member for 23 years.

He was appointed Southern Baptist Missionary to Seinan Gakin University in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1954.

He returned to Baylor in 1976 where he taught political science until his retirement in 1997.

While at Baylor, Fielder became founding director of the Asian Studies Program.

This program helped implement the teaching of Japanese and Chinese languages, and the establishment of faculty/student exchange programs between Baylor and many universities in Asia.

Fielder is survived by his wife, Jo Beth McKneely Fielder, and daughter, Dorcas Elaine Fielder, both of San Angelo; sister, Florence McKinney, and husband, L.G., of San Angelo.