Richard Larry "Dick" Shields, 89, of Russell, Kansas, died Friday evening, February 14, 2014, at Main Street Manor in Russell.
Dick was born November 22, 1924, in El Dorado, Kansas, the son of R.H. "Dick" and Mabel (Mosier) Shields. He grew up in El Dorado and graduated from El Dorado High School. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Corp during WWII. He was a 2nd Lieutenant and pilot of a B-17. After the war, he attended the University of Kansas, where he graduated as a petroleum geologist in 1948.
Dick was united in marriage to Patricia Gore on October 7, 1945. This union was blessed with two daughters, Sue and Lynn. Patricia preceded him in death on March 9, 1996. Dick was united in marriage to Geraldine Lennox on October 1, 1996.
In 1949, Dick joined Shields Oil Producers as a partner with his brother, Robert. Together, they formed Shields Drilling Co. in 1950. Dick served as exploration manager and vice president of both firms until Robert's death in 1973, when he took over as president and general manager.
Dick was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Kansas Geological Society, Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association Past Director and Executive Board, Past Director of Independent Petroleum Association of America, Russell Chamber of Commerce, First Congregational Church, International Association of Drilling Contractors, Russell School Board District 5, City of Russell Planning Commission, Masonic Lodge, Consistory and Shrine, Director of Elks Lodge Building, Life member of American Legion Post No. 99, Life member of Russell VFW Post No. 6240, University of Kansas Geology Association Board, Chancellors Club and Williams Fund, Oil Patch Museum Board, American Geological Institute, West Central Kansas Assoc. and Russell Regional Hospital Board. He was elected to the Kansas Oil & Gas Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1992. He was very active in community civic activities, tending his garden and playing golf.
Surviving family include his wife of 17 years, Jerry, of the home; two daughters, Sue Watson (Kurt) of Andover, Kansas, and Lynn Johnston of Wichita, Kansas; stepdaughter, Katherine Lennox of Chicago, Illinois; five grandchildren, Crystal Johnston, Christopher Johnston (Laura), Casey Meinhardt (Grant), Kelly Muther (Peter) and Brett Watson (Claire); and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Patti; brother, Robert Shields; and sister, Maxine Burton.
Celebration of Richard's Life will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 20, 2014, at Trinity United Methodist Church of Russell. Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery, where the Russell VFW Honor Guard will conduct military rites. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, with the family present to greet friends from 6 to 7 p.m. A memorial has been established with Russell Regional Hospital. Contributions and condolences can be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of arrangements.