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John Robert Shields passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. He was known for his love of travel starting in 1956 when he accompanied his parents to Germany where he attended high school in Munich, and later to Japan where he took classes at Sophia University, Tokyo, making many lifelong friends along the way. After graduating from California State University, San Francisco, he joined the Peace Corps as part of the first group of volunteers in Botswana after Independence in 1966, where he met his wife, Elizabeth, a British volunteer. He later continued work as a volunteer in Turkey where they were married. After graduate school at Michigan State University, John joined the faculty at California State University, Fresno, in 1978, where he was a professor of agricultural economics for 31 years. He was active in faculty governance on the Academic Senate at the university and state level. He chaired the University Academic Policy and Planning Committee and the University's WASC Accreditation Committee in 2003 and 2004. His teaching was enriched by his participation in international projects in Botswana and Armenia, and by a three year staff position with the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development in Washington D.C. He spent his retirement assisting with the Emeriti and Retirees Association at Fresno State, and traveling the world with his wife and friends. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth; their daughter, Lisa Kathryn Fletcher and her husband Brian; and four grandchildren, Benito, Jackson, Samuel, and Penelope. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial tributes be made to the Ag One Foundation in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology; or to the Study Abroad Program in Continuing and Global Education in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State.
Published in the Fresno Bee on Mar. 4, 2018
bullet Michigan State University
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