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Official Obituary of

Charles Shields

November 4, 1927 ~ March 6, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Charles Shields Obituary

Charles Shields passed peacefully on the morning of March 6, 2024 after living 96 wonderful years!

Charles was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1927 the only child of Ellen(Sullivan) and Charles H. Shields, Sr. The family moved to Ozone Park in 1930 where Charles attended PS 38 and later graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School.

Charles often said “I wanted to do what I could to leave this world a better place than I entered it.” He became a Boy Scout and earned the rank of Eagle Scout of which he was very proud. Later he served as assistant scout master for several Boy Scout troops.

At the age of 17 during WWII, Charles enlisted in the Navy and completed electronics school. He re-enlisted in the Naval Reserve during the Cold War serving as an aviation electronics technician and radio radar operator on a PBY aircraft monitoring Russian submarine traffic off the United States coast. Under the GI bill, Charles earned a baccalaureate in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, now N.Y.U. He was commissioned into the Army as a First Lieutenant. During the Korean conflict, Charles led a smoke generating platoon providing cover for front line artillery. He earned the Bronze Star for his heroism and outstanding service in combat.

Charles said the best and smartest decision he ever made was to marry the former Joan Marie Thiry of Flushing, NY in 1951. They were blessed with 6 children Susan (Christopher) Mollard, Kathy (John) McTernan, Peggy (Tom) Grogan, Charles Timothy (Christine), Maureen Brenner, and Eileen (David) Clark. Charles and Joan’s lives were further enriched with 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Joan and Charles built their first home in Ballston Lake while he worked for GE. Charles was later employed by Hayden Newport Chemical Corporation and the Union Carbide Corporation, from which he retired. As a chemical engineer, Charles held positions in research and development, marketing and international business operations. The family lived in Massapequa Park and Huntington, NY, and later in Brookfield CT. They retired to Hampton Bays on Long Island, NY. Most recently they lived in Glenville, NY.

Charles continued to serve his community. He was a parishioner in the Parish of St Rosalie’s in Hampton Bays acting as Eucharistic Minister, lector and member of the Pastoral Council. He was an engineering advisor to the pastor during the construction of the new parish center.  Together he and Joan led the parish Pre-Cana program and taught CCD. He also assisted as a driver for the Dominican Sisters.

Charles directed the Hampton Bays Beautification Association and served on the town’s Transportation committee. He was a member of the Hampton Bays Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, for whom he served as Master of Ceremonies for the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade, and was honored as Irishman of the Year.  He was a member of the Hand-Aldrich Post of the American Legion, Treasurer and Chaplain of the Southampton Elks, and President and Trustee of the Irish-American Society.

Charles treasured time with his family and with his beloved wife Joan.  He enjoyed hiking, kayaking, woodworking, jewelry making, fossil and rock collecting, and watercolor painting. Charles played several musical instruments including the harmonica and accordion - sometimes to Joan’s chagrin! They shared many adventures and traveled to 50 countries around the world. Charles spoke German, French and Italian, as well as some Japanese.  He made it a point to learn some of the language of any country he would visit.

Charles was knowledgeable on many topics and served as our family Google before Google was a thing. He knew it all! He touched many lives as a parent, friend, and colleague. Charlie was a role model for all.

Services will occur later in the Spring. Charles will be laid to rest with Military Honors on Friday April 26th at 12:30 pm at the Gerald Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery along with his wife Joan who predeceased him on September 7th, 2021.

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