1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


David Baxter Shields

Obituary - May 27, 1012

David B. Shields, 72, died Sunday (May 27, 2012) at his residence. He had struggled with lung cancer since May 2009 and a number of other health issues in the years both before and after the onset of cancer. Shields was fond of saying that after millions of dollars in health care billings, his end would wind up like everyone else's: Dead against all his wishes and the profiteering but gallant efforts by the insurance industry and healthcare providers!

Shields was born in Danville, VA on Oct. 13, 1939, but moved to Alderson, West Virginia when he was in the 4th grade. He graduated from Alderson High School in 1958. He attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN via a football scholarship. He married his high school sweetheart, the former Diane Ellis of Ronceverte, WV in June 1959. He graduated Tennessee with honors in 1962 to which he always credited his wife.

After graduating Tennessee, the Shields's accepted a teaching-coaching job at Ware County High School in 1962. He assisted Tommy Guillebeau, Ware's first head football coach, for a couple of years. He was promoted to head coach at Ware in 1964 when Guillebeau accepted the coaching job at Tifton. Shields, who always described his coaching tenure at Ware "as a little less than stunning", resigned in 1967 and took a job with the state of Georgia's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in Waycross as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VR). He retired in 1995.

While with DVR, Shields obtained a Masters Degree (1970) from the University of Georgia in rehabilitation counseling and after he retired he earned another Masters (1996) in English from Valdosta State University with the idea of returning to the classroom for another go at that noble profession. But after testing the waters in a few temporary situations both at Waycross College and local high schools in the area, Shields said he was persuaded that some of the nobility had somehow left the profession as student discipline and dedication had plummeted "so low one was hard-pressed to tell who was in charge."

Therefore, Shields opted to launch his own news and commentary web site called Ware Op-Ed & News in August 2001 where he wrote a weekly column. The site proved to be popular albeit if not without controversy, as it gave readers the opportunity to participate in the discourse on current events, politics, education and columns and essays of their own. Shields shut down the web site after 10 years with the onset of his cancer.

In the early 1970's Shields helped organize and structure the Waycross Area Community Theatre (WACT) and served the local thespian group as its president for a number of years and as a regular actor and backstage worker. He always regarded his work with WACT as one of the more significant contributions he ever made to the community.

For many years Shields did the radio play-by-play and commentary for the Bulldogs of Waycross High School prior to the school's merger-consolidation with Ware County. He was a member of the Waycross Exchange Club since 1980 and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Clement A. Evans Camp 64. He was a baptized member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Waycross although not a devoted church goer. Years ago he was an associate member of the Society of Professional Journalists and did a lot of freelance writing for various newspapers and trade magazines.

Shields was preceded in death by his mother, Geraldine S. Shields Stuart (17 Sep 1909-29 Nov 1990), his father, Clifton D. Shields (9 Dec 1909-10 Apr 1972), his stepfather, Carl Stuart (21 Jun 1916-11 Mar 1994), three brothers, Clifton I. Shields (11 May 1928-17 Feb 1991) Clem Shields (19 Dec 1929-10 Nov 1937) and Jerry G. Shields (8 Apr 1933-26 Nov 1982).

Shields is survived by his wife, Diane, and three (3) children David B. Shields, Jr., (wife Sophie) and Gregory F. Shields (wife Melissa), both of Waycross, and Susan D. Brauda (husband Chad) of Blackshear and five (5) grandchildren, David B. "Trey" Shields, III, Jessica E. Shields, Sydney M. Shields, Chase C. Brauda and Morgan M. Brauda.

A large number of cousins, many of whom still reside in and around Pittsylvania County, Virginia, also survive.

Visitation will be held at Music Funeral Home Wednesday, May 30, 2012 from 6:00 - 7:30. Shields will be cremated and his remains will be transported at a later date to an undisclosed site in Alderson, WV, "the little town that never loved me as much as I did it", to be scattered by the winds where they will.

The family requests that any and all memorials of any kind be converted to cash and sent to Wolfson Children's Hospital, 800 Prudential Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32207.

Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.musicfuneralhome.com.

(Source: www.musicfuneralhome.com)

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