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Pete Shields

Pete Shields
Date of Birth:
January 29, 1934
Date Deceased:
September 18, 2014
Funeral Services
Delta LDS Stake Center
125 White Sage Avenue
Date and Time:
September 25, 2014
11:00 AM


Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, at the Nickle Mortuary.

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 9:30 - 10:40 AM, at the Delta LDS Stake Center.

Burial in the Delta City Cemetery.

Pete Shields

Arnold LeAur “Pete” Shields, age 80, died peacefully at home on Thursday the 18th of September, 2014 in Delta, Utah surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. He was the son of the late Rodney A and Melva Jane Justesen Shields. He was born in his home in Sugarville, Utah on January 29, 1934. He inherited a strong work ethic from his parents and Grandpa, James Shields. He began herding cows when he was only 4 years old on his favorite horse.

At the tender age of 17, he enlisted in the Air Force, serving 8 years, where he received his GED and took college courses. He was first trained to be an aerial gunner and then joined the Air Commandos, a unit that supported Army Special Forces and the C.I.A. He received special recognition as the youngest soldier to complete the intense survival training for the Air Commandos. In 1975, age 41, he enlisted in the National Guard, serving at times as a Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and recruiter. At age 57, he deployed with the 1457th Combat Engineer Battalion to Germany preparing to enter the Desert Storm Gulf War. The war ended before they could go to the Middle East. He returned home and a few years later retired honorably from the military.

On a leave from the Air Force, he married his childhood sweetheart, Shirlee Rae Barben on December 14, 1953 in Sugarville, Utah. Nine years later they were sealed for time and all eternity on June 2, 1962 in the Manti LDS Temple. They have had a home in the Delta Area all their married life where they raised their 4 children.

For much of his life he worked as a heavy equipment operator with the Operating Engineers Local 3. During seasons of light work he found many other ways to make a living. Some of these included farming, ranching, mining, diary work, and serving as the Deputy Sheriff of West Millard County for a time. He also briefly tried his hand at owning a business called Pete’s Café on Highway 6 outside of Delta. The supplemental job he did the longest and enjoyed the most was that of Instructor Pilot, where he could teach people the joy and freedom of flying.

Pete was passionate about riding horses, flying airplanes, and the United States of America. Much of his work and his play were centered around these passions. He took great pleasure in teaching others to love them too.

Pete was a friend to everyone. He always had a listening ear and a story to share. He and Shirlee had an Open Door policy. Chances are if you went to visit them you would find someone else who was also visiting them or living with them for a time. Among them were students from the West Desert attending High School; Lois Marie Parker, the Indian Placement Student who stayed with them from age 8 until graduation; a foster daughter, Teresa Harris; and special friend, Samantha LeFevre.

Pete was a member the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and held many callings. His callings as Stake Missionary and Sunday School Teacher brought him the greatest joy.

Pete was active in his community and enjoyed helping many different community organizations including, the American Legion, The Jeep Posse, the 4H program, and the Youth Court of Delta High School.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother, older brother: Rodney Jay Shields; and his two sons: John Rodney Shields and Walter LeAur Shields. He is survived by his wife of 60 years: Shirlee Shields of Delta; 2 daughters: Julie (Blair) Curtis of Spring, Texas; Carlee (Joseph) Topham of Delta; 2 daughters-in-law: Deb Bliss of Delta; Terri (John) Miller of Jackson, Wyoming; 4 sisters: Doreen (James) Meinburg of Hinckley; Nola Bunker of Delta; Ann Frampton of West Valley City; Joyce (Dennis) Moody of Delta; 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 25, at 11:00 AM, at the Delta 7th Ward LDS Chapel, 125 White Sage Ave. Viewings will be held Wednesday, 6:30-8:00 PM, at the Nickle Mortuary; and Thursday, 9:30-10:40 AM, prior to the service. Burial will be in the Delta City Cemetery.

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