BETHESDA, Maryland - Randall Daye Shields, 68, former publisher of the Daily Reporter, died September 13, 2019, at his home in Bethesda, MD surrounded by his wife and children listening to Bob Dylan, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer September, 2018.
Shields served as the Sedalia Democrat publisher from August 1993 to September 1995 during the ownership of the former Thomson newspaper chain. He previously had served as publisher for another Thomson newspaper in Mitchell, South Dakota.
For the final 17-years of his career, Shields served as publisher of the Daily Reporter newspaper in Greenfield, Indiana, and as the executive over its commercial printing operations. He retired in 2014 as Vice President of Home News Enterprises Printing, the former parent company of the Daily Reporter.
While in Sedalia, Shields was active in many community activities and projects and maintained friendships through the years. He was an avid fly fisherman who loved the outdoors.
As a student, Shields began his 43-year, newspaper-related career as a part-time worker in production at the Indiana Daily Student in Bloomington. That job eventually became full-time production and systems manager and led him to a series of other management positions in the publishing industry. In addition, he spent more than a decade working for various firms that marketed computer hardware and software to newspaper companies transitioning to digital production.
Born in Fortville, IN, he was known from a young age for his grit, goal setting and determination - as a person whose thinking was outside the box and as one who aggressively pursued excellence. These characteristics led him to the Boy Scout rank of Eagle at the age of 13 and to graduation from Fortville's Mt. Vernon High School as Salutatorian. He then attended Franklin College on a full-tuition scholarship before transferring to IU-Bloomington.
Whatever activity he chose, he was never satisfied to be "average." In his 40s, Shields became interested in hot air ballooning and became a pilot. He later gained certification as an instructor.
On Nov. 15, 1980, Shields married Patrice Marie Polack, a native of Grand Rapids, MI. She survives along with their three married children: Alexis Daye (Shannon Weeks) Shields of Lisbon, Portugal; Zachary Nischan (Callie) Shields and granddaughter (Feb '20) of Lake Tahoe, NV; and Jocelyn Marie (Phillip) Bailey and grandson (Nov '19) of Silver Spring, MD. Also surviving is his daughter, Keller AE Shields, from a previous marriage.
In 2004, Shields underwent a liver transplant after damage caused by a bout with hepatitis turned cancerous. The operation was successful and he quickly returned to work.
Before and after retirement, Randall and Patrice traveled the country in their RV with their beloved Border Terrier, Bette - visiting friends, renewing old friendships, attending music festivals and seeing the sights. They also traveled internationally including Ireland, France, Spain, Thailand, Portugal and Canada. Along the way, Randall pursued his decades-long love of fly fishing and took time out for the "lively, civil discourse" he loved to have with others on matters from politics and religion to philosophy and music.
In Sept. 2018, metastatic pancreatic cancer was discovered. After initial chemotherapy at Indiana University Health, Randall and Patrice moved to Bethesda, MD, to continue his treatment and be closer to their children.
Randall fought to find peace with the disease. Asked by a friend how he kept his spirits up in the midst of the battle, he replied, "I set goals for myself and work toward them. And, I always remember there are a lot of people who suffer worse things."
In a letter to close friends and relatives in July 2019. Randall said, "Life has been good." He told of the joy of his marriage to Patrice and the love and pride he held for his children. Also, in classic Randall form he admonished those who would promote division in our country rather than unity through civil discourse. He ended with: "Where are the morally sound, rational, intelligent uniters in both parties? Why have they been driven aground? I guess the answer is 'blowing in the wind'."
Born March 7, 1951, Randall was the son of Jesse L. "Popeye" Shields and Fay A. (Carl) Schmutte, both of whom preceded him in death. In addition to his wife and children, Randall is survived by a sister, Toby (Rick) Bell of Indianapolis and many relatives.
Please visit https://everloved.com/life-of/randall-shields/
for Celebration of Life and donation details.