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Larry Shields Obituary

Larry Wallace Shields (1938 - 2000)


Larry Shields
Larry Wallace Shields passed away in Birmingham, Alabama on March 11th at the age of 63. Born November 15, 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri to Wallace Joseph Shields and Helen Elizabeth Shields, Larry spent his early years moving between California and Missouri, before his family settled in the Independence, Missouri area. During his teen years the family moved to Raytown, Missouri, where he was a 1956 graduate of Raytown High School.

In 1956, Larry enlisted in the United States Air Force and after completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and electronics training at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois; Larry proceeded to his first assignment at Johnson Air Force Base, Japan. During his three-year tour in Japan, he spent a lot of time on travel between Air Force sites at Wake Island, Midway Island, Iwo Jima and Anaweetok Atoll conducting needed repairs to communication equipment. While on temporary assignment to Anawetok Atoll, he was an eyewitness to hydrogen bomb testing being conducted by our country in the various atolls.


In 1959 Larry was transferred to Whiteman, Air Force Base, Missouri and while visiting his parents in Independence, he met his future wife Lowanna Sue Ruddell. They were married May 29th, 1959. During the next eight years, Larry and Sue's assignments took them to Webb City, Missouri, Greenville, Mississippi a one-year remote assignment to Port Molar, Alaska and on to Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Along the way, their family grew to include four children.

In 1967, Larry was transferred to the Republic of South Vietnam for a one-year assignment that took him to a base in the area of Pleiku. During his tour, he was involved in the 1968 Tet Offensive, and for his meritorious efforts was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Upon his return from Vietnam, the family moved to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi where he attended advanced training in his career field. While at this assignment, the area was struck by Hurricane Camille. The family stuck it out in a little house they lived in located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and came through the hurricane with out a scratch.

The next six years took the Shields family to Wichita, Kansas and Anchorage, Alaska. While in Alaska, Larry was involved in the local Scout Troop 231, where he was Scout Master for two years. He enjoyed taking the family on outings of fishing and camping trips in the surrounding areas. In 1975 the family was transferred to Richards Gabuaor Air Force Base, Missouri where Larry was a member of the staff at the USAF Senior Enlisted Academy. The family settled in Independence, Missouri and Larry retired as a Senior Master Sergeant from the U. S. Air Force in 1978, culminating a career of twenty-two years of distinguished and honorable service to our country.

After retiring from the Air Force, Larry went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Between 1978 and 1998 the family moved from Lincoln, Nebraska, North Platte, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa. Larry retired from the FAA in 1998 and he and Sue moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas where they have made their home to the present day. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting and golf. His other hobbies included woodworking, gardening and cooking. In addition to his numerous achievements during both his military and FAA careers.

Larry Shields
Larry will be remembered for his incredible sense of humor. He has been a loving husband, father, grandfather, a mentor and a friend. Larry has touched so many lives in many ways with his wit, wisdom and integrity. He will be dearly missed and will continue to influence the lives of those who knew him and loved him. Larry is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lowanna Sue Shields, his daughter Robin Coulter and husband Scott Coulter of Killeen, Texas, sons Jeff Shields and wife Beth of Portland, Texas, Todd Shields and wife Gail of Kansas City, Missouri and Larry Douglass Shields and wife Lisa of Little Rock, Arkansas, and his eight grandchildren, Maria Shields of Portland, Texas, Stephanie Shields of North Platte, Nebraska, Trey Shields, Kerra Shields and Kessa Shields of Little Rock, Arkansas, Courtney Shields and Amanda Shields of Kansas City, Missouri and Hanna Coulter of Killeen, Texas, sister Judy and husband Roy Van Meter of Oak Grove, Missouri, sister Pam Doutt and husband Richard of Denver, Colorado and Brother Steve and wife Mitzi of Houston, Texas.