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Obituary for (Thelma) Juanita Shields (Thompson)

(Thelma) Juanita Thompson Shields, 95, died on December 24, 2013, her favorite day of the year. She lived her life with fullness, faith, and verve. And as she wished, she passed peacefully from a brief illness. All services will be held Saturday, January 4, 2013. Visitation will be held at North’s Funeral Home, 242 Orange St, Abilene, TX 79601 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Funeral services will be held at Hopewell Baptist Church, State Highway 153, Crews, Texas at 2:00 pm. with burial to follow in Atoka Cemetery, intersection of Coleman County Roads 441/ 490 west of Novice, Texas.
Juanita was born on December 12, 1918 in Silver Valley, Texas to Charles Spurgeon and Eva Camilla Beall Thompson in her father’s ancestral house. Both the Thompson and Beall families have been in Coleman County, since the mid-1800’s. She grew up in Silver Valley and attended Silver Valley and Novice schools. After graduation, she married Jack Shields. Together they had four children, 4 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. They were married for 57 years until his death in 1994.
Jack’s career as a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety offered the couple many opportunities to move throughout the state. As the children grew older, Juanita began her own career in 1950 as an Optometric Assistant with Dr. Reese Nowlin, in Perryton, Texas. When they moved to Abilene Texas in 1954, she joined Dr. Grady Jolly’s practice where she worked alongside Drs. Jolly, Jimmy McNeil, and James Wadley until her retirement in 1983. She was a beloved part of the staff known for her professionalism, kindness, holiday sweets and everything red.
Juanita and Jack retired to the Shields ranch near Novice, Texas and the historical Atoka community where Juanita enjoyed various hobbies and pursued a wide range of interests. She devoted her days to quilting, making ceramics for friends and family, creating do-it-your-self crafts, decorating and entertaining for holidays, socializing, and working on community projects. Most special were her weekends hosting family such as grandson Chris, organizing the Shields Cousins Reunions every 4th of July and lighting the ranch for Christmas (reputed to be visible by space). And it wasn’t unusual to see her have Sunday and Monday gatherings during football season to satisfy her passion for the game.
A devoted and joyful Christian she was a member of First Baptist Church of Abilene for 29 years with 20 of those years as a nursery attendant volunteer. Many still refer to her as the “Baby Whisperer”. Her calming and reassuring confidence would relax and quiet the most upset of babies. The move to the ranch started a 30 year membership at Hopewell Baptist Church of Crews and her famous Christmas Parties which were always filled with joy, Christmas carols and lots of sweets and treats.
Juanita was a Lifetime member of Order of the Eastern Star. She was Past Worthy Matron, River Oaks Chapter # 1013 and a member of Coleman Chapter # 360. She treasured the sisterhood bonds formed with the members. In 2012 she received her 50 year membership award.

Following Jack’s death in 1994, she remained at the ranch and continued her many activities until illness dictated her move to Abilene in 2008. She lived at Royal Estates Assisted Living and moved to Wesley Court Skilled Nursing in 2010 where she resided until her death. At both locations her passion for decorating for the holidays was legendary. Her room at Christmas became a regular stop for staff and visitors alike. The kindness and caring of the staffs at each facility will always be appreciated by the family.
Juanita loved beautiful red flowers and unique arrangements, but in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disability Resources, Inc., Attn: Memorials and Honorariums, P.O. Box 1880, Abilene, TX 79604.
She was preceded in death by: husband, Jack Shields (1918-1994); daughter, Jacqueline Shields (Hubert) (1938-1995); son, Joe Milton Shields (1942), son, Judson Payne Shields (1944-1994).
She is survived by: daughter, Jenniffier Shields Hawes, husband David and children; daughter-in-Law, Rosalind Craver Shields Buffaloe, husband Tom and children; granddaughter, Lynly Ann Shields Stephen, husband Eric and daughters; grandson, Christopher Payne Shields; granddaughter, Victoria Page Hawes and children; grandson, Jeffrey M. Hawes, wife Angela and son; nephew, W.M. (Bill) Shields, wife Sue and sons; nephew, L.L (Tobe) Shields, wife Peggy and sons; nephew, Doug Shields, wife Judy and daughters; niece, Diane Shields Reynolds and children; and, niece, Twila Shields Bard, husband Larry and sons.

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