ROCKFORD — James E. Shields, 85, of Rockford, passed away Feb. 1, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. He was born to William and Cynthia Allie Shields on Aug. 25, 1933, in Cross County, Arkansas.
After his father died, James became the man of the house and learned responsibilty. As a teenager he moved to Rochelle and found work at the Wurlitzer Piano Company in DeKalb, his place of employment until 1972. He then moved to Rockford and accepted a position at Camcar, retiring in 1995 as Quality Control Supervisor.
As a young man he married Deloris Webber, a union that produced two children (Brenda and Ronald) and lasted for 50 years until her passing.
At age 75 he married Evelyn Martinson on June 7, 2009. His family now expanded with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren from both loving marriages.
James was known for his wit and storytelling, his humor, optimistic nature and his integrity. He enjoyed singing, reading, old country music (especially Red Foley Gospel), traveling through the 48 states and traveling abroad with his son.
Survivors include his sister, Wilma Mitchell; wife, Evelyn; children, Brenda Cobbs, Ronald (Renee) Shields, Scott (Lisa) Hanson, Cathy (Aaron) Acomb and Kristi (Paul) Nelson; grandchildren, Amy (Brendan) Cutting, Andy (Carol) Cobbs, James (Mary) Shields, John Shields, Chris (Britta) Hanson, Jenn Hanson, Samuel Acomb, Wesley Nelson, Russell Nelson and Caleb Acomb; great-grandchildren, Barrett Cobbs, Marshall James Cobbs, Chase Hanson and Sloane Douell; and extended family members, Peggy Erickson, Michael Cousin, Michelle Cousin, Scott Webber and Lisa Tramblay.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Deloris; brother-in-law, Dean Webber; and his cousin, Joyce Winston.
The Memorial Service will be 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, with the Rev. Darren Loepky officiating, with visitation from 2 p.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Northern Illinois Hospice.
Condolences may be sent to www.Fitzgeraldfh.com.