April 2, 2015

Veteran

Thomas F. Shields

Thomas F.  Shields, 83, beloved father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle,  friend and devoted husband of 54 years to the recently departed Mary Jane ( Murphy) Shields, passed away peacefully on April 2, 2015, surrounded by his loving family. 

Tom, a resident of Marco Island, Florida, and formerly Boston, was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shields Health Care Group and Shields MRI. Born in Boston on July 28, 1931  and raised in Weymouth,  Tom was the son of Mary (Fallon)  and William Francis Shields and the brother of Mark Shields and Ann (Shields) Ryan.

Tom graduated from Weymouth High School and St. Michael’s College, Class of 1952,  with a B.A. in History. He proudly served in the United States Army and his earliest business career was as a sales executive for Dowd Paper Company and advertising  executive for  CBS and RKO General , New York and Boston. Like his father, Bill, he served  on the Weymouth School Committee.   

Tom and Mary married in 1959 and spent their early married years in Weymouth and Rye, New York, raising their seven children before returning to Boston in 1972 with their seven children. It was there that they began building the Shields Health Care Group, a family business offering out-patient MRI, radiation oncology, positron emission tomography, elder care and dialysis services. 

Tom lived with a sense of gratitude for family and the couple’s success, and readily extended himself to those in need. He believed if you do good you will do well and valued education,  a gift  instilled by his parents and embodied in his sister Ann.  Tom and Mary, guided by their faith and commitment to helping others, gave to many worthy educational, civic, religious, medical and community causes including establishing financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students of Nativity Prep Boston, Boston College  High School, St, Michael’s College, Stonehill College, and the Thomas Murphy SJ Scholarship for the study of theology at Boston College. Tom and Mary were proud to support medical research including CURE, The Brain Science Foundation and lenT their support to respite care for the handicapped, disabled and the medical care provided to the people of Haiti by CRUDEM.

Tom gave generously of his time and expertise, serving as a gracious, humble yet effective colleague and  trustee of  St. Michael’s College, Boston University Medical School, Boston College High School, Stonehill College where the Science Center bears the name of Tom and Mary Shields.  Tom was the recipient of the Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership Tufts Medical Center, Laboure Medal from Laboure College, Friend and Leader Award from the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Trustee Founders’ Award from Trinity Catholic Academy, the Northeastern University Family Business Award  for Innovation, The New England Baptist Spirit of Excellence,  the Boys and Girls Club of Brockton, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Boston), Temple Israel of Brockton and the humble recipient of honorary degrees from The University of Massachusetts (Boston), Saint Michaels’ College and Stonehill College. 

Tom loved history, travel, Cape Cod, Brigham’s vanilla ice cream, Boston sports especially the New England Patriots, College sports and watching his grandchildren laugh, interact and play sports. He was a voracious reader and delighted in a good story, laughter, and the company of good friends especially family celebrations on Cape Cod, Hawaii, The Greenbrier, Ireland, Israel and Rome. Tom  took the greatest  joy in the success of others especially the young and the underdog and there was always a  twinkle in his eye when he greeted a friend with a firm two handed handshake, pat on the shoulder or warm embrace. 

Tom is survived by his seven loving children Carmel and her husband John A. Mannix of Chestnut Hill, MA; William F. of Scituate, MA; John M. Sr. and his wife Kathleen (Whitehouse) of Duxbury, MA; Colleen S. Griffin and her husband Kevin of Duxbury, MA; Siobhan S. Quinn and her husband Tom of Windham, NH; Erin S. McCarthy and her husband Stephen of Duxbury, MA; Thomas A. Shields Jr. and his wife Patrice (Gaynor) of Norwell, MA; his devoted grandchildren Bronwyn Shields; Fallon Shields-McElnea, Jack, Will and Madeline Shields; Mary, Fiona, Niamh and Emmett Griffin; Thomas, James, Mary and Anna Quinn; Connor, Siobhan, Maeve, Bridget and Seamus McCarthy; Kerri, Kelly and Caitlin Shields; great grand-daughter Maya McElnea; his brother Mark  and wife Anne Shields of Chevy Chase MD ,  brother in law Thomas B. Murphy and his wife Jacquelyn of Novi, Michigan. He was predeceased by his sister Ann (Shields) Ryan and her husband Bob Ryan . He is also survived by many treasured nieces, nephews and cousins. 

With gratitude and respect for a life well lived, The Shields Family  invites relatives and friends to celebrate Tom’s life with them. Visiting hours will be Friday, April 10th, from 4-8 PM in St. Francis Xavier Church, 261 Pleasant Street in Weymouth. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 10 AM at the same location. 

In Tom’s memory, kindly consider donations to Trinity Catholic Academy Brockton, Habitat for Humanity Collier County, FloridaBoston Health Care for the Homeless.