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Weldon Willie Shields

Services for Weldon Willie Shields, member of a pioneer Hunt County family, will be January 14, 1997, at 2:00 PM, at Wesley United Methodist Church with burial in Tidwell Cemetery. Shields died Saturday at his home following a long illness. He was eighty-eight.

In the early 1970's he published a book, The Texas Giants, which recounted the lives of his grandfather, Jack Shields, and three brothers who were all just under eight feet tall and toured the country as "The Texas Giants." The Shields brothers and their families lived in the Kingston area.

Shields was a retired businessman and was active with a number of organizations in Greenville. He was head of the parts department at the US Army Air Corps training facility, Major's Field, during World War II. He later had been employed at a bakery and as a truck and ambulance driver. He formerly owned a grocery store, was a licensed funeral director, and owned, along with his wife, Weldon Shields Motor Company.

Shields was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church for more than fifty-eight years and was a member of the building committee for the second sanctuary built by the church. He was a youth sponsor and Sunday School superintendent, an honorary member of the boards of stewards, and a charter member of the ALR Sunday School class.

He was a director of the Tidwell Cemetery Association and had also worked with the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, YMCA, and Scouting groups.

Shields was born on July 8, 1908, in Hunt County, to William Franklin Shields and Dora Bolton Shields. He was married to Inez Green on September 5, 1936, in Greenville. She survives.

Also surviving are his daughters, Johnnie Marleta Shields Crim of Arlington and Betty Janet Foley of Garland; brothers, Guy Shields of Greenville and Wayne Shields of Denton; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Opal Turner, Ruby Frair, Norma Cody, Bernice Green, and Stella Blaylock.

Pallbearers will be Bill Johnson, Jesse Lemons, Charles Carter, James Taggart, Dennis Smith, Jr., and Cecil Tidwell. Honorary pallbearers are Jack Griggs, Bob James, Larry Johnson, Gene Ackles, and Gerald Little.

The family asks that memorials be made to the Wesley United Methodist Church building fund or a charity of choice.

The Rev. Mike Nichols will officiate and Coker-Mathews Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

(January 14, 1997, The Greenville Herald Banner)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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