Ray Shields, age 74, of Meadville, Missouri died Tuesday, March 10th at his home.
A celebration to honor Ray will be held Sunday, June 28, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. at the Meadville Community Center.
*Guest are welcome and requested to maintain safe social distancing standards.
Memorials to the Meadville Cemetery Association or Meadville United Methodist Church may be left at the Meadville Community Center during the celebration or mailed to Ralph Jackson 27785 Highway 139 Meadville, MO 64659.
Ray Francis Shields, son of Ralph Waldo Shields and Melba Rudene (Thomas) Shields, was born on January 18th, 1946 in Lexington, Missouri.
Ray was born 7 years after his sister, Janeta, with whom he shared a special bond for his entire life. He worked hard milking cattle every day as he grew up on the 41 acre family farm located 3.5 miles north of Meadville, Missouri. Ray graduated from Meadville R-IV school in 1964 and proceeded to obtain a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1968.
He began work for Ceco Concrete Construction shortly thereafter and moved to Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock, Birmingham, and Atlanta as he was promoted to a manager, regional manager, and eventually company President. Ray returned to Kansas City in 1986 and left Ceco in 1990 to become an entrepreneur in two start-up ventures: Riteway Floors, LLC and K&G Striping located in Riverside, Missouri. In 1996 he married Mary Jo (Giovinco) Shields and they lived together in their newly constructed home on the family farm for 23 years.
Ray was a board member of the Farmers Electric Cooperative for 20 years and was a frequent volunteer in the community, including the Meadville Cemetery Association. He was a member of the Meadville United Methodist Church as well as the Chillicothe Free Methodist Church and gave service to the congregation on occasion.
Ray was an avid gardener, cook, teacher, fisherman, mushroom hunter, and hobbyist farmer and loved to share his bounty with friends and family. He was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone willing to learn and enjoyed discussing politics at any opportunity.
Ray is survived by his wife, Mary Jo, sister Janeta Smith and her husband, Virgil of Meadville; four children, Jason P. Shields and wife Kyra of Boulder, Colorado, Rachel R. Shields and husband Scott of Bozeman, Montana, Kip A. Shields and wife Kirsten of Seattle, Washington, and Rachel M. Young of Kearney, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Coen, Neka, and Kade of Boulder, Colorado, Benjamin and Madeline of Bozeman, Montana, Baylor of Kearney, Missouri, and Zoe of Seattle, Washington.
He was a beloved father, son, husband, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend to many. Ray greatly loved his family and his neighbors and reminded them of it often. His quick-wit and humor, passion for life, love for the holy spirit, enthusiasm for projects, and desire to learn will live on in those who knew him.
Ray's life philosophy: "I've led a charmed life. No matter how bad things seemed at the time, they always turned out for the best. Someone takes care of me...and I know who Someone is."
Ray's favorite saying from his Dad: "Son, if I tell you a rooster will pull a plow, you hook him up."
Ray's saying from his Mom. "Why--you won't even remember this by the time you have been married twice."
Published in Chillicothe News on Jun. 19, 2020.