March 27, 2013


James J. Shields, 69, of Darwin, Minn., died Saturday, March 23, 2013, at his home.

Memorial service was held Tuesday, March 26, at St. John Catholic Church in Darwin, with burial in the church cemetery.

Father Jim Devorak officiated.

Organist was Terri Orzolek, and soloist was Shirley Weinzetl.

Music was "Ave Maria," "Amazing Grace," "Be Not Afraid," "How Great Thou Art" and "On Eagle's Wings."

James' family were urn bearers.

Honorary bearers were James' grandchildren Keely Gelling, Emima Gelling, Kaitlyn Schlink and Holden Shields.

Litchfield Military Honor Guard formed an honor guard.

Arrangements are by the Hantge Funeral Chapel in Darwin. Online obituaries and guest book available at

James Joseph Shields was born Dec. 25, 1943, in Carroll. He was a son of Patrick and Mary Lucille (O'Connell) Shields.

Jim was baptized as an infant at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison and was later confirmed in his faith as a youth at St. Ann Catholic Church in Vail.

He received his education in Wall Lake and was a graduate of the Wall Lake High School Class of 1962.

Jim entered active military service in the U.S. Navy on Feb. 11, 1966, and served his country during the Vietnam War.

He received an honorable discharge on Feb. 10, 1969, and continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until Oct. 13, 1971.

On Nov. 8, 1969, Jim married Jean Miller at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll.

This marriage was blessed with four children, Kim, Kris, David and Karla. Jim and Jean resided in various cities until they moved to Darwin in 1977. They shared 43 years of marriage.

Jim held employment as a custodian for the Dassel/Cokato School District from 1998 until 2009, when he retired.

Jim attended St. John Catholic Church in Darwin. He was a member of the Litchfield Golf Club.

Jim loved to golf. Last summer, after his chemotherapy appointment, he decided to keep his tee time (although he didn't feel up to it) and had his first hole in one. He was an avid sports fan and liked to watch any kind of sports on television. Jim especially enjoyed the time he spent with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Jim is survived by his: wife, Jean Shields of Darwin, Minn.; children, Kim Gelling and her husband, Josh of Big Lake, Minn., Kris Schlink and her husband, Jeff of Ramsey, Minn., David Shields and his wife, Kate of Roseville, Minn., Karla Saeger and her husband, Justin of Apple Valley, Minn.; grandchildren, Keeley and Emma Gelling, Kaitlyn Schlink, and Holden Shields; Brother, Patrick Shields and his wife, Maureen of Omaha, Neb.; sister, MaryAnn Badding and her husband, Bill of Carroll; nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Mary Lucille Shields, Brother, Paul Shields.