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Open Viewing

Saturday December 26th, 2020
12:00pm - 8:00pm

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Family Present

Saturday December 26th, 2020
6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Sunday December 27th, 2020

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Funeral Service

Sunday December 27th, 2020

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Edward Shields

In accordance with CDC guidelines, masks and social distancing are required at visitation and services.

The services on Sunday will be Livestreamed on our website at 2:00 p.m.

Edward Linn Shields was born in Leon, Decatur County, Iowa on June 17, 1949, the youngest child of Kenneth Leo and Juanita Natalie Whisler Shields.  At the age of seventeen, Ed accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized in the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Mount Ayr, IA.  On August 11, 1968 Ed married his high school sweetheart, Kathy Jean Burright, and to this union two daughters were born, Erika Leigh (1972) and Emily LeAnn (1977).  Ed had a strong devotion to family.

To those who really knew Ed, the core values that he lived by were to serve Jesus Christ, to be a good listener and find the good in people, to transmit knowledge particularly to the youth with whom he came in contact, to share joy, and to maintain a strong work ethic.  Ed never ceased to learn.

Ed began his education in a one-room school, Poe #8, attending through fourth grade.  When rural schools were consolidated, Ed became a student at Mount Ayr Community School and graduated with the class of 1967.  The following fall, Ed began his formal education at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration in 1972.

Ed farmed with his parents after leaving Graceland.  Because of allergies, Ed was employed at Patty Lynn’s Café, later to become DanDee Café, as a chef until his employment with the Graceland College Bookstore in 1974.  After three years of employment as a store clerk, Ed became Administrative Manager of the store.  While employed at Graceland for over 25 years, Ed held positions on many of the campus committees, his favorite being the Employee Recognition Committee and the Faculty-Administration Social Committee.  Ed also belonged to the Mid-States Association of College Stores where he served many roles and was chairman of the Education Committee and held the offices of Treasurer and President.  As chairman of the Visual Merchandising Committee for the National Association of College Stores, Ed developed an eight-hour seminar on Visual Merchandising and flew from coast to coast presenting these seminars. 

As long as he could remember, there was a special place in Ed’s heart for the elderly in our community.  Ed had many special memories of his grandparents and great aunts while growing up.  Ed was employed by Maple Ridge Assisted Living and Clearview Estates and served as chaplain at Clearview Nursing Home.  During this time, Ed also served on the local Hospice board.

Ed and wife, Kathy, began the first co-ed 4-H club in Ringgold County and served as leaders of the Lotts Creek -Riley Rustlers 4-H club.  The highlight of each year for the club was to take a trip (which they raised money for by lunching farm sales and selling homemade pies), the greatest being flying from Kansas City to Chicago for a long weekend visiting museums.  These bonding experiences created wonderful life-long memories.  Ed served on the Ringgold County Extension Council where he served as chairman, on the 4-H and Youth Committee and judged fashion revues, clothing selection competitions and projects in Adams, Adair, Page, and Ringgold Counties.

Ed was a Past Master of Faith Lodge #179, an eight-time Worthy Patron of Mount Ayr Chapter #356, Order of the Eastern Star and was initiated into the Grand Cross of Color.  Ed was a Rainbow Dad for Joan Fisher Rizer, Erika Shields Welch, Trisha Routh Uitermarkt,  and Emily Shields Shelley and served for several years as District Dad.  While holding this position, Ed was honored to have his daughter Erika serve as Grand Worthy Advisor in the International Order of Rainbow for Girls in Iowa and daughter Emily who served as Grand Religion.

Ed was in numerous concerts of the Ringgold Singers and was a charter member of the original community theater group, the Moonlighters.  Ed had numerous roles in the plays presented and particularly enjoyed comedies.  Live theater was a passion of Ed’s.  He tried to support the high school drama students and they were glad when he could attend their plays as they could always hear his laugh.

Ed also enjoyed designing clothes, and, with the help of his wife, constructed many wedding gowns.  Articles about this talent were published in the Sunday Des Moines Register, the St. Joseph, Missouri newspaper, as well as the Mount Ayr Record News.  Ed always remembered the day People Magazine contacted him and asked about a farmer who designed wedding gowns.

Using his culinary skills, Ed and his family also did catering for a number of years, serving dinners and receptions in Ringgold and Decatur counties.  Ed was known for his good cooking skills and beautiful buffet tables.  Ed and Kathy worked side by side and were gracious hosts.

From 2008 to 2011, Ed was employed by Support Services of South-Central Iowa, supporting youth and adults in the area.  These special needs clients had a special place in his heart also.

While pastoring at the Hickory Grove Advent Christian Church, Ed was ordained as a pastor in that denomination.  With God as his guide, Ed had the blessings of creating a year-round active congregation representing rural churches in America.  In 2005, Ed and Kathy started the Faith Seekers Advent Christian Home Church and nurtured handicapped individuals while on their faith journey.  Pastor Ed performed numerous baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  He had the knack of personalizing the event to fit the person’s life.  Ed also served as pastor at the United Church of Diagonal from 2012 until he retired in 2017.

Ed passed away December 21, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ronald Shields, his sister Sheryol Rush, brother-in-law R.C. Rush and sister-in-law Janine King. 

Those left to mourn his passing are his wife of 52 years, Kathy of Mount Ayr, Iowa, daughters Erika (Ryan) Welch of Lamoni, Iowa, and Emily (Richard) Shelley of Indianola, Iowa, grandchildren Collier Layne Wilmes, Kiersten Elaine Shelley (John Shufelt) and Kegan Edward Shelley, sister-in-law JoKaye Shields of Mount Ayr, Iowa, sister-in-law Kerry Burright-Hittner (Steve), brother-in-law Randy King, 10 nieces and nephews, 24 great nieces and nephews, 19 great-great nieces and nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.

The earthly body of Edward Linn Shields is at rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Iowa.

A memorial fund has been established for scholarships at Mount Ayr and Diagonal High Schools

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edward Shields, please visit our flower store.


I have known Ed since we went to fifth grade over 60years ago and he was the SPECIAL friend to say the least. His enthusiasm and willingness to help whether it was in a drama performance or being Mr.and Mrs Santa Claus or chorus dancers in a melodrama or any project we would try, Ed was always there to assist and make the project fun. . There is not enough space on this tribute wall to let me explain how I felt being a friend to Ed and Kathy. They were both very caring folks who were willing to lend a hand.

Richard Pence Dec 26 2020 12:00 AM

Oh,,how time flys! Your parents and grandparents came to Clarinda to visit our neighbors.
Your grandmother was one of 5 sisters and for years your grandpa was the keeper of the group.
Kelley and Opal lived next to me and my parents- Fern and Gerald Grove- me, Gwen Grove Howard. Mary and Elva were in Mount Ayr.
I remember seeing your dad when he was little, I was a teenager by then.
His death has brought back many good memories of the 5 sisters family.
It is so good to be a part of such a good family. Ed certainly carried on the tradition.
Blessings and prayers to all of you.

Gwen Howard Dec 25 2020 12:00 AM

Ed will be missed many. He always had a big smile on his face. Will miss that smile and hand
Shake. Praying for his family and friends. Love you all God bless .

Buddy & Carolyn Hall Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

It is with a sad heart, I convey my thoughts to you and your family. Ed and you have always had a special place in my heart growing up and throughout the years. From church, grade school, high school, music and musicals. I have so many good memories of Ed, Richard and I working at the Dog'n & Suds. I laugh out loud at some of the things I remember. Ed will certainly be missed by many of us. Wrap yourself in the memories you and Ed have made throughout the years together. Praying for you and your family at this difficult time.

Susan Lesan Smith Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

We look forward to seeing Ed alive again in the resurrection. John 5:28, 29

Jim & Donna Adams Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

Kathy and family,
There is no way for me to tell of the many things thru the years that Ed and Kathy helped me with, just one of those was the 20years they helped me with our family Christmas concert. The most recent was the many days transported me to Dr. appts. in Des Moines. To me he was an answered prayer that I could count on to be there to help whenever I needed help to get to medical treatment. We had a bunch of humorous experiences in the years he took me to those appts. He always lightened the 'load' simply because he CARED!! That was always his 'forte'. In all the years of meeting people in all walks of life I never knew anyone as nice and caring as Ed Shields. He and Erika took me to my daughter-in-laws memorial service in Minneapolis, MN. I had to have extra care due to my failing health and Erika served as my nurse-aid as well as doing all the driving including a terrible snow storm as we came back to Mr.Ayr. There is just so many times when Ed, Kathy and family helped me and I will never forget the special priviledge of having had them as friends for a big share of my life. I am so sorry for your loss but I know Ed has reached the "eternal" goal of being with his Lord and Savior. You can't have a better Christmas than that!!
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers,
Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas Dec 23 2020 12:00 AM

Kathy and family~
So sorry for your loss. I, like so many, loved Ed. The earliest memory I have of you two together was on stage at the high school in a musical. Most recent was seeing you at Rumors last year. Ed was one of a kind! He was an excellent public speaker and pastor. I loved the funeral service he conducted for Margaret Rhodes. God Bless you and your family.

Vickie Butler Pierce Dec 22 2020 12:00 AM