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James Shields April 6, 1960 - September 5, 2020

James Shields

April 6, 1960 – September 5, 2020

 

 

James “Jim” Shields, age 60, of Long Valley, NJ passed away on Saturday September 5, 2020.

James was born on April 6, 1960 in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to the United States in 1968 and became a naturalized citizen 1976.  After graduating from Hackensack High School he received degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers (BS, 1983) and Stevens Institute of Technology (MS, 1986).

He served the US Army at Picatinny Arsenal from 1983-2017.  His professional accomplishments included serving as the Program Manager for the Joint Lightweight 155mm Howitzer (2004); serving as the Deputy Program Executive Officer Ammunition (2009-2014), and finishing his service as the Program Executive Officer Ammunition (2014-2017).  He retired from the US Army in 2017 and began Shields Consulting Services, LLC advising private military defense contracting companies. He was committed to the Joint Warfighter throughout his career.  Please enjoy this retirement article https://www.army.mil/article/199413/picatinnys_highest_ranking_civilian_retires_after_35_years

Jim was a member of the Army Acquisition Corps, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of the United States Army, and the United States Army Field Artillery Association. His awards include the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and Superior Civilian Service Medal; the National Defense Industrial Association’s Firepower Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production and the John A. Ulrich Award; the Field Artillery Association’s Ancient Order of Saint Barbara Medal; the Armor Association’s Saint George Medal; the Ordnance Corps Samuel Sharp Medal; the Army Engineer Association’s de Fleury Medal.

Jim married the love of his life, Christine, whom he met at Rutgers, in 1981.  Jim and Christine were best friends who were beginning to make the most out of their golden years by hiking, biking, cruising around in the convertible, and traveling to visit their daughters; truly making the most out of life after so many years of hard work and dedication to his career, country, and family.  He was also so very proud of his daughters Sarah and Julie and their commitment to education and dedication to work.

Jim’s contagious laughter will be missed; whether telling a story or joke or watching a video, he infected himself and others with uncontrollable laughter.  He loved competition and never showed any mercy on family game night.  In retirement he consistently attended gym classes (until his back sidelined him temporarily), he tried his hand at fly fishing, and consistently displayed his excellent cooking skills.  But most of all, throughout his life, Jim was a loyal, passionate, and selfless person.

Jim is predeceased by his parents, James and Ellen Shields, and survived by his beloved wife of 33 years Christine and his daughters Sarah and Julie.  He is also survived by his sister Claire Shields, and her husband Greg DiMonte and daughter Olivia; his in-laws, Andre and Liliane Herssens, Walter and Edilma Herssens, Patrick and Helen Herssens and their children Alec and Jacqueline, and Nancy Herssens.

Jim represented the American Dream.  His parents came to this country for a better life for their children.  With very little money, they worked hard to ensure their children had the best opportunities.  Jim was the first ever family member to graduate college and look what he achieved.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 1PM to 4PM at Schooley’s Mountain County Park Pavilion.  Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to the Salvation Army in Jim’s memory:  https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/give/164006/#!/donation/checkout

Condolences(34)

  1. REPLY
    Audrey Ruland says

    He will be missed at Gold’s gym especially in our Body’s class, our prayers are with the family.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Audrey. He LOVED his Gold’s gym workouts! Miss him everyday.

  2. REPLY
    Denise Rossi says

    I worked with Jim for over 20 years, he will be missed. My condolences go out to his family and I will say prayers for them to find peace.
    “And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief.” – William Cullen Bryant

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Denise. A great man taken too soon. We will cherish him forever.

  3. REPLY
    Ed H. says

    I’m very saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a great man and will be missed.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Ed. We miss him and honor him every day.

  4. REPLY
    Don says

    Mr. Shields will greatly be missed but his legacy will remain. He will always be close to our hearts as a great American and an inspirational leader.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Don, I couldn’t agree with you more. We are so proud of all that he accomplished. He was so humble, it wasn’t until I was at an event that I would often learn of his great accomplishments. He was completed dedicated to the Joint Warfighter.

  5. REPLY
    Patti Banta says

    So shocked and saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. He was the consummate professional and such a joy to work for. Working in the PEO was demanding and stressful; but Jim had a way of bringing out the best in people and could brighten any situation. He was a great American, wonderful teacher and friend. He touched so many lives and will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to Christine, Sarah and Julie.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Patti. Just read your lovely card today. I needed time and wanted to be fully “present” when I opened the cards. The outpouring of love and admiration for Jim is beautiful. I miss him every day, and I am blessed to have had him in my life for 39 years.

  6. REPLY
    Sangiv A Parulekar says

    God bless his soul. My thoughts and prayers for the family.

  7. REPLY
    Sangiv A Parulekar says

    No words can describe this early loss. I will never forget when I use to leave from the Bldg. 1 whenever I used to see the Sir heading towards car in the parking lot always use to say hi to me. Good and down to earth man we have lost here. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family. I want to express my deepest sympathy and let you know that my thoughts are with you all. My hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow. Sharing in your sorrow.
    Sangiv A Parulekar

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Sangiv. Warms my heart to hear people say how down to earth he was, it’s so true , Jim was “real” he was who he was. He was “taken” from us much too early, When I find myself shedding tears I try to remember the line in the poem “He is Gone” and smile because he has lived. I will remember his smile and laughter forever.

  8. REPLY
    Kevin Fahey says

    Jim Shield’s will always be one of my hero’s. He inspired me every day with his unmatched work ethic, care for people and infectious laugh. As Jeff Dyer says he gave a new meaning to “all in” and he was all in in everything he did from being a Dad and husband to bowling where he tore his bicep and continued to bowl competitively? He impressed me from the day I met him, he was the kind of person you just wanted to be around even if he was a giants fan. I basically grew up with him personally and professionally at Picatinny, he was a mentor to me in many ways and I felt like a mentor to him in many ways. We work well together and fed off each other. He is what selfless service is all about! Our families spent precious time together.. Few people I have met in my life that I respected and admired as much as this man. I am struggling to accept that I will never see him again or hear his infectious laugh. He will live on forever in my heart and I know he will live on in the many hearts he has touched. I will pray each day for him and his family. Love you Jim Shields❤️🙏

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Kevin, you will appreciate…we were going to have.a memory blanket we are having made with a GIANTS blanket…all three of us smelled a burning smell in the room we were in….I believe that’s a sign that Jim did not want anything with the GIANTS being on that blanket ;). And if I’m not mistaken, they are off to an 0-2 start!
      Lovely words for Jim. You brought up great memories. I am so proud of all Jim accomplished throughout his career for the US Army. He was never boastful, never discussed office matters, he was by the book (I rarely knew what he was doing other than he was doing it all the time – resulting in a whole in the armrest of our couch!).
      Looking forward to sharing more memories and reuniting with old friends soon!

  9. REPLY
    Kathleen D. says

    Very shocked to hear of Mr. Shield’s passing. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Kathleen. We miss him….

  10. REPLY
    Rob Nitzsche says

    I had the privilege of working with Jim for 30 Years. He was always there to lend a hand or an ear, and was always up to any challenge. Jim would not hesitate to help, not only with work but on a personal level. In the early 1990s before the days of internet, he stepped in and helped me acquire house price comps so I could sell my house on my own. It has always been an honor to call Jim a friend.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Hi Rob, I remember you :). Thank you for your kind words. Jim was a selfless soul, a people person; he was the full package! I’m blessed to have known him for 39 years.

  11. REPLY
    Jerry says

    Always a gentleman with a kind word and calm demeanor. I highly respected Mr. Shields. Prayers and sympathies to the Shields family. Rest In Peace Jim. Jerry

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Jerry. Jim was the best! I’m looking at his picture as I write this and know the world is a better place because of him.

  12. REPLY
    Mark Bergman says

    Although his time with us was cut short, he still enriched the lives and helped his family, friends, coworkers, and every American through his loyal, dependable, hardworking and yet humble efforts throughout his life. His wit was sharp, and his generosity deep. Jim rarely asked for anything for himself but would always ask what he could do for you. Jim was the type of person you would want on your team and especially as a friend. We will all miss, but never forget the incredible Jim Shields.

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Mark, beautifully said. I couldn’t have asked to be with a better person. He made this world a better place. We will continue to honor him and remember him as we continue our Rutgers reunions.

  13. REPLY
    Mike Della Terza says

    I will always remember Jim as a great friend and excellent leader. I first met Jim when he was working the Crusader program. When he came to the LW155 program, I had the pleasure of being in the Front Office with him for two years until I retired. We both liked the Yankees and Giants and would talk first thing in the morning about how well or bad they played. My condolences to Christine, Sarah, and Julie. Rest in peace Jim. Mike

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Hi Mike, hearing names from the past warms my heart. He had a love / hate relationship with those Giants. This year, he wouldn’t be too happy with them either ;). Yankees he was still ok with, once the pitching got better. You brought a smile to my face with your post. Thank you for bringing up good times!

  14. REPLY
    MARK SLACHETKA says

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim and his family. The Lord must have required Jim’s many talents earlier than expected. I will never forget his kindness and watchful approach he always displayed. Jim took very good care of his people, as so many have echoed. We are all blessed to have had the opportunity to know and have worked for him. God speed!

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you Mark. Jim did a lot of good and spread a lot of kindness in this world. His intentions were always pure. We miss him!

  15. REPLY
    Dean Popps says

    Jim was a consummate acquisition professional and a gentleman. He served with distinction and will serve as a model for all current and future PEOs. May his memory be eternal.

    Dean G. Popps
    Former PD and Acting ASA-ALT and AAE (2004-2010).

    • REPLY
      Christine Shields says

      Thank you for your kind words. Jim was the most honest, selfless man I knew. He was always committed to his work and protecting the Joint Warfighter. We are so proud of all he accomplished, and the success he achieved through all his hard work and support of his team members. We miss him!

  16. REPLY
    Lucille Knapik says

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am a friend of your sister Nancy and I know how close you are and what you have been going through these last years with your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughters!

  17. REPLY
    Christine Shields says

    Lucille thank you so much for your kind thoughts. And thank you for the beautiful Perpetual Mass card. It has been a challenging year, and never did I think something like this would happen to my young vibrant husband. This has been devastating for us. But as a family we have supported it each other and were strong together. Alone, back to our “normal” lives another adjustment takes place. We can only take one day at a time. Yes, my partner in crime, Nancy, has been supper supportive and watching out for her big sister! Thank you again Lucille.

  18. REPLY
    Christine Shields says

    We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of condolences and kind words about Jim. Whether they were received at the Celebration of Life, through on-line condolences or through cards or email, your words reaffirm what a wonderful person Jim was. Over and over again we heard or read the same words; selfless, generous, loyal, a true friend, a leader and great manager and coworker, and just a “regular guy” who didn’t think he was better than anyone else. He was a fair and honest man. He ensured that anyone in his life, personal or professional, was always supported. He loved his family and was always there for all of us. Each day I am grateful for the moments we shared together, the memories that we made and the friendships that will last for years to come.

    For those of you who could not attend the Celebration of Life, below is the poem that we included in his memory leaflet. It doesn’t lessen the pain of losing Jim, but it gives us purpose in making sure that Jim’s accomplishments, legacy, hopes and dreams are remembered and paid forward every day.

    He is Gone

    You can shed tears that he is gone
    Or you can smile because he has lived

    You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
    Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
    Or you can be full of the love that you shared

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

    You can remember him and only that he is gone
    Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

    You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
    Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

  19. REPLY
    Adam Cherrill says

    Just heard this awful news. I had the privilege to work with Jim as a new consultant in our industry. He was such a wealth of knowledge and was always willing to mentor me.

    I’m very sorry to hear about his passing to soon.

  20. REPLY
    Jim Korec says

    I am still traumatized by Jim’s passing. We both retired roughly the same time. I visited Jim in Long Boat Key during the summer after both of us retired. He was an amazing person who I was lucky enough to meet and get to know in my lifetime. Jim was truly special and anybody who has crossed paths with him knows this. I had worked with Jim throughout my career. He was a friend, a mentor and a supervisor. He was truly a remarkable person and was more liked than anybody I have known in my lifetime. He was kind, honest and just a great person. My heart goes out to his family. Jim Korec

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