Obituary of Jean R. Shields
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Jean Rae (Spirawk) Shields, 90, of Cortland NY, passed away on November 23, 2022. Jean was born in Elmira, NY to Gladys M. and Joseph E. Spirawk on September 8, 1932. She graduated from Thomas A. Edison in 1949 at age 16. Immediately enrolling in the school of nursing at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, graduating in 1952. Her nursing career spanned over 60 years in a variety of positions. Not only achieving a nursing teaching position, she was also the first Director of Dialysis Services at AOMC. A further accomplishment was opening the dialysis unit in the maximum-security Elmira Correctional Facility. On August 28, 1955, Jean married Andrew (Jack) Hill Shields Jr. They were married 46 years. She is predeceased by her husband in 2002. She earned a master’s degree in Health Service Administration at the New School for Social Research-Binghamton University in 1990. In 1992, she was recruited by Albany Medical Center to be the Nurse manager for Dialysis Services and retired from there at age 65. She and her husband moved to Cortland in 1997. She worked for Family Health Network as their Patient Services Coordinator for nine years. In that time, she worked on several boards that included disaster plans for Cortland County, was active in formation of Cortland LGBT, drug take back program, multiple health programs including flu vaccines and blood glucose testing. As her nursing career continued, she was a per diem night Nursing Supervisor and then the Psychiatric Patient Evaluator at Cortland Regional Medical Center. She retired for the second time at the age of 80. Jean is survived by her children: Jeffery (Tyler) of Jacksonville FL, Bruce (Kathy Sheehe d. 2008, and companion Michele) of Youngstown NY, Melinda Jane (Michael) Stokoe of Cortland NY, and Christopher (Andrea) of Elmira NY. Her grandchildren Kelly, Lisa, Andrew, Kimberly, Sara, Jack, Grant, Sebastian and Blake. Her great-grandchildren Audrina, Garrett, MaKenna, Kylie, Ethan and Charlotte. Her brother Butch (Mary) Spirawk of Groveland FL. Please remember Jean, our Mom, Grandmother, Mimi, Mrs. Shields RN and fondly mean-Jean with your happy memories. She was an avid reader and love to play tennis with the “tennis ladies”. She also loved a nice glass of wine and sometimes Jack Daniels on the rocks…especially at the many Halloween parties she hosted. As she wished, a celebration of life will be held in Cortland sometime in spring and then burial at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira with her husband. Contributions in Jean’s name may be made to Country Acres Animal Shelter, 5852 West Scott Road. Homer, NY 13077.
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1932 - 2022
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