Patrick Joseph Shields, 81, of Wilmington and Ocean View, Delaware, departed this world quietly to join his beloved wife, Dot, in heaven on February 9, 2020, just a couple of weeks shy of his 82nd birthday.
Patrick was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1938 to Manus and Margaret Shields of Donegal and County Cavan in Ireland. Patrick was proud of his Irish heritage but also proud to be an American having served in the National Guard as a young man. Patrick enjoyed growing up in Philadelphia with his three brothers and three sisters and could, sometimes, after a couple of beers, be coaxed into sharing stories of his youth.
In 1960, Patrick met a beautiful girl named, Dot, who captured his heart They married on January 13, 1961 and moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where they raised three children who they made feel like they were the most special and cherished children on earth. Pop Shields worked hard on the railroad for decades but he always made time to enjoy family and friends. He loved cheering his youngest daughter, Helene, on at her sporting events and enjoyed nothing more than a day at the beach or on the boat with his family.
Patrick, who was known to his railroad buddies as PJ, and Dot were always pleased to open their hearts and their homes to friends and family for parties, holidays, special occasions and everyday occasions where many happy memories were created. When Dot fell ill, Patrick cared for her with a dedication and compassion that was heartbreakingly beautiful until her death in June 2012. After more than 60 years of marriage, Patrick missed Dot deeply, but he found great joy in his children and grandchildren spending winters in Texas and summers at the beach.
Pop Shields was an exceptional father but, if possible, he was an even more spectacular Grand Pop. Everyone who met dad would comment on how kind and generous he was to everyone. He was quiet and humble but he also had a terrific sense of humor as his daughter-in-law and son-in-law learned to appreciate. He loved fishing, animals, scuba diving, crossword puzzles, MSNBC, crabs, beer and a glass or two of Paisano before bed - not necessarily in that order. But most of all, he loved his family.
Patrick is survived by his son, Patrick Michael Shields, and his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Sproul Shields, and their three sons, Patrick Joseph "PJ" Shields, Colin Shields and Paul Thompson Shields, of Missouri City, Texas, his daughter, Colleen Shields and Jeffery Quinton of Wilmington, Delaware, his youngest daughter and beloved "Peanut", Helene Bridget Shields and his son-in-law, Edward C. White, Jr., and their son Edward C. "Carper" White, III, and daughter, Blake Cavan White, his sister, Catherine Pezely, and his brother-in-law, Stanley Pezely, his sister, Helen Betzler, and his brother-in-law, George Betzler, and his sister, Sister Margaret Shields, IHM.
Friends and family are invited to an Irish "wake" to celebrate Patrick's life with the family on Sunday evening, February 16, 2020, at Mendenhall Inn, Route 52, 323 Kennett Pike, Mendenhall, PA between 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM on Monday, February 17, 2020 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 4701 Weldin Road, Wilmington, Delaware, 19803. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:00 AM. Interment will be private.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, you consider a donation to the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Alzheimer's Association in honor of Patrick's late wife, Dorothy B. Shields.
To send flowers to Patrick's family, please visit our floral section.
Alzheimer's Association-Delaware Valley Chapter
399 Market St., #102, Philadelphia PA 19106