1924 – 2015

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Dr. Daniel R. Shields, 90, passed away peacefully on Memorial Day, May 25, in Port Charlotte, Fla. He had been in failing health for several years; a recent fall was one of the very few obstacles in his long life that he could not find a way to overcome.

Born in Sugar Grove, Ill. on Dec. 18, 1924, Dan was the baby of the John E. and Hazel L. Shields family. While an excellent student at Sugar Grove High School, his first true love was sports. If it could be thrown, hit, kicked or caught, he was in the game with his whole heart. Dan attended Harvard College but interrupted his education to enlist in the U.S. Navy, serving as a pharmacist’s mate during World War ll. He returned to finish his education at Harvard and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1950 with his second true love — a life-long passion for old-school, hands-on medicine.

While completing his surgical training in the Boston area, Dan had a fortuitous meeting with Dr. Raymond Lebel — a legend in the annals of Maine golf, both for his accomplishments and his exemplary sportsmanship. Ray invited Dan to play golf; the rest is history.

Moving to Maine in 1954, Dan joined the surgical staffs of both Central Maine General Hospital (now Central Maine Medical Center) and St. Mary’s General Hospital in Lewiston. He served as team physician for the Lewiston High School football program during the Norm Parent coaching era; Dan still cherished his very-well-worn state champs jacket.

Over his medical career, he was active in local and state medical associations, held many staff positions at CMGH and, in 1975, became the first physician to be elected to its Board of Trustees. Outside his medical practice, Dan continued his love of all sports in all seasons, especially golf.


He was a former president and active member of Martindale Country Club, a former president of the Maine State Golf Association and a regular Saturday Amateur and Monday Pro-Am participant for many years. Surely, his proudest athletic achievement was winning the Maine State Amateur Championship title in 1966 at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course.

He married Marlene E. Ross at Clearwater Lake, Industry, on July 19, 1975; they made their home in Lewiston until 1998. Ultimately, Dan’s greatest love was his family: Marlene; his three children from his first marriage to Barbara L. Shields, Steven, Sally and David; and finally John. A chronic neck issue forced Dan to retire from his urology practice in 1987, while he continued as a board member of the CMMC’s Gard W. Twaddle Nurses’ Endowment Fund until 2012. Compelled to retire from medicine and golf, Dan pulled up his Big Boy Pants, bought a boat, and “went fishin’.” He also spent those years as a devoted hockey dad, a rabid fan (and critic) of all Boston sports teams, and a proud, happy father and grandfather who loved watching his family grow.

The cottage at Clearwater Lake became the hub of summer fun and a place where family, friends, kids, and dogs are always welcomed with open arms. Dan and Marlene moved to Punta Gorda, Fla. in 1998, returning to the lake each summer until 2014. He was a charter member and former president of the Peace River Harvard Club. Doc was blessed with 15 years of fun and friendship at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, which generously provided the “Dr. Shields’ Special Chair” so that he could enjoy his time there in comfort.

He is survived by Marlene, his loving wife of 39 year; his three beloved children, Dr. Steven J. Shields (Amy) of Medfield, Mass., Steven’s twin sister, Sally S. Thees of Roseland, N.J., and John Daniel Shields (Anne) of Boston, Mass.; eight grandchildren, Jennifer, Tommy, and William Shields, Lawrence, Thomas, and Patrick Thees, and Claire and Cole Shields; four nieces and four nephews; his loyal brothers-in-law, S. Clyde Ross and Frederick A. Ross (Theo); and our grand-dog-in-residence, Zarley Gene Simmons Shields.

Dan was predeceased by his parents; brother, John E. Shields, Jr.; sisters, Irma Norton and Marcia Jean Shields; and his son, David N. Shields. His most special four-legged buddy, Tucker Anthony, along with Gretchen, Shadow, and St. Brandy, were all waiting patiently for his arrival on their side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Dan relished his last years “facing west” — watching beautiful sunsets down the canal in Punta “Gorgeous” and over Mosher Hill on the far side of Clearwater Lake with a dog in his lap, a good single malt scotch in his right hand, and his wife (and on his best days, his children) at his side.

Goodnight, “Handsome Harry!” Rest well and kiss the pups for me!

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