YORK COUNTY - Raymond Shields, a native and lifetime resident of York County, departed this earthly home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in Heaven on April 19, 2008, at the age of 95. 'Rip,' as he was known by many of his friends and relatives, was predeceased by his loving wife, Evelyn Todd Smith Shields; his parents, Jesse Goode and Hunter Wornom Shields; his brother, Arthur Henry Shields; sister, Nellie Shields Owens; brother, Coleman Wornom Shields; and twin brother, Harvey Shields.
He is survived by his daughter, Esther Shields Petty, and son, Raymond Wayne Shields, and wife, Vickie, His seven surviving grandchildren include Sheree Forman Fox and husband, Tommy, Donald Ray Forman and wife, Teri, Susan Forman Rhew and husband, Ray, David Kelly Forman, Robin Shields Dixon and husband, Brian, Daniel Wayne Shields and wife, Yvonne, and Cynthia Shields Paz and her husband, Richard. His 15 great-grandchildren include Jason Fox and wife, Witney, Kristina Fox, Kelly and Ashley Forman, Matthew and David Lusk, Courtney Forman, Ryland and Brian Thomas, Daniel and Joshua Allen Shields, Lindsey and Kyle Paz, and Jackson and Nicholas Rhew. He also leaves great-great-granddaughter, Hannah Fox, and great-great-grandson, Noah Fox. Raymond is also survived by his sister, Annie Shields Page; sister, Myrtle Shields Stephens and her husband, Otis V.; brother-in-law, Kirby T. Smith and wife, Lillian; special friend, Shirley Phillips; plus many nieces and nephews.
Raymond accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior while a teenager and he attempted to follow the teachings of Jesus. He was a man who enjoyed sharing the Good News with all persons, but especially he was concerned to share with the immediate members of his family. He was a lifetime member of Providence United Methodist Church in Dare, where he had in time served on many different church committees. Rip loved to sing the songs from the old hymnals and his voice could often be heard above all others of the congregation.
Raymond was a 60-year member of Yorktown Masonic Lodge #205 AF&AM, where he served as Master of the Lodge and District Deputy Grand Master to the 57th Masonic District and at the time of his passing he was the oldest living Past Master and also the oldest living District Grand Master from Yorktown Lodge. He was also a previous member of the following lodges: Uroy Harris Royal Arch #83 of Newport News, Scottish Rite Bodies and Khedive Temple of Shrine of Norfolk. He was a past patron of York Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of Yorktown. He had been honored by the Grand Master of Masons of the State of Virginia for 50 years of membership.
Rip began his lifetime occupation of carpentry with his builder Uncle Gaston Wornom. He later partnered with cousin Mallory T. Shields in Shields and Shields Construction. During World War II, he was employed at the carpenter shop at the Naval Mine Depot (Naval Weapons Station) at Yorktown. He retired from this job after 31 years of service. Then he continued to utilize his skills for the County of York as a lead Building Inspector and worked for the county until the time of his second retirement, over 10 years later.
He had master skills in carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electricity. There is quite a large number of homes in York County which he built for customer friends as well as brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren.
Mr. Shields had lived in the Warwick Forest Retirement Community for the last several years. While there, he enjoyed being actively involved in that community and to assisting others who lived in the village. He leaves behind a large contingency of friends at this community.
Raymond will always be remembered for his love of God, love of wife and family, and for his professional quality workmanship in all phases of the building industry. His big grin and his 'vise-grip' handshake will certainly be remembered by all who came in contact with him.
Amory Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at Amory Funeral Home. At other times, the family will be at the home of his daughter Esther, 913 Showalter Road, Yorktown.
A celebration of Raymond's life will be held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, led by the Rev. Douglas Gestwick and the Rev. Clara Gestwick, on Wednesday, April 23, beginning at 1 p.m. Mr. Shields will be interred with full Masonic rites at Providence United Methodist Church Cemetery following the service. A reception will follow in the church social hall of Providence United Methodist Church.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations would be sent to the Providence United Methodist Church, 113 Old Dare Road, Yorktown, VA 23692.
Published by Daily Press from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2008.