Teacher, Pastor, Father, Friend
Marion D. Shields, 85, of Largo, Florida went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at Largo Medical Center, under the care of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, after a lifetime of service to God, his family, and community. He was born May 23, 1921 in Anderson, Indiana and moved to St. Petersburg from Watseka, Illinois in 1966. He studied at Asbury College, Cleveland Bible College (now Malone College), and Asbury Theological Seminary, and (in the 1980’s) University of South Florida, achieving multiple undergraduate and Masters degrees.
He served as a missionary in Bolivia in the 1950’s and became a charter member of Mission Aviation Fellowship (while taking flight lessons between 1946 and 1951, Marion was interviewed by Nate Saint). He also served as Friends (Quaker) pastor, associate pastor, or youth pastor of a number of churches in his lifetime. These included the Pleasant Grove Church, Hustonville and Watseka Friends Church, Watseka, Illinois, and other churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. For over twenty years he led the “Friendship” Sunday School class at Christ United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida where he also sang in the Sanctuary Choir. He also sang with the St Petersburg Men’s Chorus. For many years he served as a volunteer for Gideons International and Habitat for Humanity.
He taught at Dunedin High School, Dunedin, FL for over 25 years and other schools in Illinois and Virginia before then. He served as head of the foreign language department at Dunedin High School for over 15 years, leading more than a dozen annual student trips to Mexico and one to Spain; he also served as the faculty advisor of the Spanish, Chess, and Amateur Radio Clubs.
Marion was an Amateur Radio operator since the late 1950's when he got his Technician Class license. While in Watseka, IL, he obtained his General Class license. He obtained his Extra Class license while in St. Petersburg, FL and was a volunteer examiner in Pinellas Co., Fl. for over 25 years.
While living a life of service, he was also skilled in many practical arts such as electronics, plumbing, carpentry, and auto mechanics and inspired his sons to not only follow eternal values but also to be resourceful in multiple areas of life.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dottie, in 1951; a daughter Carol, in 1957; and his wife Saralee in 2002. Survivors include two sons, David L., Akron, Ohio and Daniel D., Indianapolis, Indiana; a brother, Glen, of Anderson, Indiana; a sister-in-law, Dorothy VanSteenburg, of Largo, Florida; a sister-in-law, Pauline Alverson, of Cincinnati, Ohio; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Gee & Sorenson Funeral Home, St. Petersburg, FL with the funeral at Christ Methodist Church, St. Petersburg, FL. Internment was Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Petersburg, FL.
Rock, Steadfast, Gentle, Unselfish, Patient, Constant Humility,
Faithful, Amusement, Resourceful, Tireless, Teachable, Joyful
VVV VVV VVV DE W4AFC W4AFC 73 73 88 88 W4AFC QRT K .....
VVV in Morris Code means "Attention, I am sending something important"
DE means "this is"
W4AFC is Marion's call sign
73 sent twice means "Goodbye, with best wishes"
QRT means "I am ending all transmission"
K means "It is your turn to tranmit"
..... means "This key has gone silent!"