He was born October 14, 1936 in Beaver Dam, Kentucky son of the late Vernell and Blanche (Black) Shields.
Tom resided in Sturgis since 1976 coming from Chesterton, Indiana where he was a graduate of Chesterton High School with the class of 1955.
He was first married to Beverly Carpenter. They were gifted with three children: Rhonda, Leonard and Jeffery. The marriage ended in divorce. He married Evelyn Smith and this marriage was gifted with one son: Timothy Shields and this marriage also ended in divorce. On July 21, 1979 he married Gladys Snyder McNulty in Centreville.
Tom retired from the Kirsch Company in Sturgis following 17 years of dedicated employment. He was a talented electrician and had held the position of General Maintenance Foreman with Youngstown Steel in Chicago.
Tom was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army earning the rank or SP-4.
Tom was truly gifted mechanically. Anyone that knew him would tell you if you had something that needed to be fixed just take it to Tom as he can fix anything. He enjoyed woodworking and fixing and restoring John Deere Tractors. For several years he and Gladys wintered in Florida and many special memories were made when they were traveling in their motorhome. For the celebration of their 25th anniversary they made a six week trip in their motorhome to Alaska. Tom never bought a new automobile preferring to purchase a totaled vehicle and fixing it himself to like new condition.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 42 years: Gladys; his children: Leonard Shields, Jeffery (Tracy) Shields, Timothy Shields, Bryan McNulty, Sr., Darlene (Brian) Harker and Marlene (Dale) Claar; son-in-law: Craig Tilden; 13 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; one sister: Lucy Shields; one brother: Charles Shields and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter: Rhonda Tilden; sister: Alice Boyette and brother: Edward Shields
Gladys and family would like to extend thanks to Kindred Hospice and special thanks to Tom’s doctor: Dr. Urrea, nurse: Cherry and aid: Jessica for the excellent care Tom was given.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Monday, Feb. 21st at the Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St. in Sturgis where funeral services celebrating the life of Thomas Neil Shields will be held at 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, Feb. 22nd. A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Shield’s memory consider Kindred Hospice, 1911 W. Centre Ave., Portage, MI 49024 or the Light and Life Wesleyan Church, P.O. Box 146, Three Rivers, MI 49093.
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.