John E. Shields, 84, of Odin, passed away, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at SSM Health St. Mary Hospital in Centralia. Anyone traveling U.S. Highway 50 through Odin has probably seen John walking down the road, carrying his lunchbox and tool bag with an obvious determination. He worked at Wilson Monument Company for 50 years, only retiring because he moved into the nursing home. John took pride in his job and looked forward to the annual company Christmas Party. He walked to and from work for many years and he would pick up anything he saw along the road (tarp straps, nuts/bolts, plastic cups, etc…). He thought the world of Bill Hawley. John loved getting together with family. He LOVED to eat. He was legendary for his love of food and how much food he could eat in a single setting. He would always go back for a second helping. He could of put an all you can eat buffet out of business. Remember that look of determination? He was on a mission and beware if you were in his path. The holidays were very special to him. John loved Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and his birthday (notice that they all involved food). He loved to decorate his home for Christmas and wanted everyone to come in and take notice. John always looked forward to the Odin Fireman’s Picnic (the food and participating in the hose catch), Antique Power Days (he had to get a hat, calendar, refrigerator magnets, and a t-shirt), and the Ice Cream Social (he had to sample all the flavors). John attended the Methodist Church in Odin. He didn’t miss a day of church (unless it was cancelled due to the weather) and looked forward to donut Sundays, breakfast, and potlucks. He liked to be first in line with that famous look of determination.
He enjoyed mowing his yard (with a push mower). He didn’t move very fast (about the speed of a sloth), but he did take pride in his yard. He loved to tend to his garden (most of the vegetables didn’t grow, because of his constant tending to that garden). John collected anything John Deere related, calendars, watches, pins, and hats. He loved going to rummage sales and thinking he had scored some big treasures (one can never have enough hammers, right?).
John made Fireside Nursing Home his home three years ago, where he quickly became a favorite. He adored Jason Hill, Jason Petrea, and Patty Neudecker (all Saints in our eyes). He loved Breakfast Club at Downtown Lounge (chicken livers, onion rings and a Bud Light). He enjoyed playing BINGO; especially when he would win. He also enjoyed going to the therapy room to visit and go outside to use his remote control tractor. He was President of the Residential Council. He looked forward to all holiday parties.
John made sure his voice was heard and had no problem “hushing” others when, “he had something to say or it was his turn to talk”. It honestly didn’t matter who he “hushed” (family, boss, preacher or even strangers). Those who knew John know exactly what this means. He didn’t know a stranger and would always ask: what’s your family’s name, occupation, and origins, and never forgot….ANYTHING!
Cremation Rites will be accorded and a Celebration of Life Service for John Shields will be held Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home in Centralia, during that time the family would like invite anyone to share a story about John. A visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 5:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home. Per the family’s request, please come in your work or casual clothes, as John was always curious about everyone’s occupation. Due to the health guidelines, masks must be worn; social distancing will take place, and a limit of 50 attendees for the visitation and service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Centralia Fireside House Activity Fund and the family and will be accepted at the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 235 North Sycamore Street Centralia, Illinois 62801, (618)532-3523, who is honored to be of service to the Shields Family. Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.sutherlandfuneralhome.com and the Sutherland-Garnier Facebook Page.
John is survived by his sister, Jo Schubert and husband Don of Carlyle, a niece: Barb Simmons and husband Allen of Centralia, great-nephew: Fory Albert and wife Chelsea of Mt.Vernon, and a great-great-niece: Tinsley.
He was born July 27, 1936 in Missouri, the son of Warren Shields and Johanna (Schuchmann) Shields. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother: Warren Shields, Jr., and two sisters: Christine Shields and Marie Marcum and husband Bill, and a nephew: Kirk Marcum.