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Paul Eugene Shields, 88, went “Home” to be with his Lord and Savior on March 24, 2018 after several years of declining health. Paul resided at St. Johnsbury Health & Rehab for the past year. Paul was born in St. Johnsbury on October 14, 1929, and was the oldest of seven children born to Virgil and Agnes (Wilson) Shields.
Paul received his early education in various Barnet Grammar Schools. When he was 12 years old his parents let him join a Boy's Scout Group in West Barnet, which he really enjoyed. He attended high school at Peacham Academy, graduating in 1949. After graduating from high school, he worked as a farm hand for one year on a farm in Walpole, N.H. and another two years on farms in the West Barnet area. In early 1953, he joined the U.S. Air Force where he served for four years. Most of his time in the service was spent on a base in West Palm Beach, Fla.
On June 23, 1956 he married the love of his life, Arlene Betsy Holbrook. They lived in Florida until he was discharged from the service in 1957. In the early 1960’s Paul, with the help of his brothers Arthur and Wilson, built his and Arlene’s family home on Kitchel Hill in Barnet, where they resided until Paul was moved to St. Johnsbury Health and Rehab in March, 2017. Paul and Arlene were in their 61st year of marriage when Arlene was called “Home” to be with her Lord and Savior on April 17, 2017.
Upon returning to Vermont, Paul held various jobs over the years including Kitchel Farms, Postal Mail carrier, Allen Lumber, St. Johnsbury Academy, DuraClean (a joint business with Arlene), and Rabbit Hill Inn. After he retired he spent time volunteering at Union Baptist Church and the Barnet Fire Department doing janitorial tasks to keep things “cleaned up and tidy”.
Paul was a member of the Barnet Fire Department, and loved the brotherhood of firefighters with surrounding area departments. When he was no longer able to be an active firefighter, he continued to serve in the capacity of “Traffic Control” for Barnet Fire Department and rarely, if ever, missed an opportunity to be “on the scene” when calls came in. He also served as Fire Warden for the Town of Barnet in earlier years, as well as serving on the Walter Harvey Cemetery committee for many years.
Paul was a long time member of Union Baptist Church. He served as a deacon when the church was still located on Railroad Street in St. Johnsbury. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior as a young adult and his faith carried him through many struggles through the years. Because of his faith and hope in Christ, he often said “things are going to get worse before they get better” and he looked forward with anticipation to the day when he would pass into eternal life with his Lord and Savior.
Paul was a "people person" and he loved visiting with friends and strangers alike. He was always willing to give a helping hand and enjoyed being where there was action and excitement. He and Arlene enjoyed making visits to friends and shut-in's and spent countless hours going for rides. Paul and Arlene enjoyed the simple things in life. As much as they enjoyed people and visiting, they also enjoyed peace and quiet; they especially enjoyed sitting on the screened-in porch during the spring, summer and fall months. Paul was a true Vermonter, and set in his ways. He lived his life honoring the values and heritage instilled in him through childhood and made it known that he did not like modern changes in life.
Paul is survived by two sons, David (Karen) Shields of Passumpsic, Vermont (230 Kitchel Hill, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819) and Daniel (Dale) Shields of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (3316 W Manning Loop, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815), grandchildren and grandchildren-at-heart, Nicole (Kyle) Borey, Olivia Shields, Rebecca Schoenemann, Kyle (Alison) Shields, Colby (Nicole) Shields, Kristian Shields, Kristina Shields, Eric Shields and Amanda Liberty. He also is survived by 8 great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren-at-heart; sisters, Anna Mae Benton and Martha (David) McConnell, sisters-in-law Carol Shields, Marlene Shields, and Ruth (Shields) Tessari, and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
In addition to his wife, Paul was predeceased by his parents, Virgil and Agnes; his in-laws, Harley and Bessie Holbrook; a son, Philip James and a daughter, Debra Jean (who both passed away in infancy); brothers, Wilson Shields, John Shields, Kenneth Shields and Arthur Shields; brother-in-law, Medwin Benton and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Shields and Doris Baird (Arlene’s sister).
Graveside services will be held at the Walter Harvey Cemetery in Barnet on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 2 p.m., with military honors. There will be no calling hours.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Union Baptist Church, 932 US Route 5, Waterford, VT 05819 or to Barnet Fire and Rescue, 151 Bimson Drive, Barnet, VT 05821.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.saylesfh.com.
Union Baptist Church
932 US Route 5, Waterford VT 05819
Barnet Fire and Rescure
151 Bimson Drive, Barnet VT 05821