Margarethe (Föller) Shields

PARDEEVILLE   --  Margarethe (Föller) Shields, age 79, was called home by God on Sunday, December 7, 2014, with her family by her side at University Hospital in Madison.

Margarethe was born on January 26, 1935 in Oberkalbach, Hessen, Germany, the daughter of Nikolaus and Christine (Baus) Föller, and was confirmed in the Lutheran Church on Easter Sunday, 1949.  Margarethe grew up in what would become West Germany after WWII, and told stories of being a little girl when the Americans invaded her village.  She regarded the soldiers as polite and recalled how they slept in the families beds with their dirty boots on. 

In 1952, at age 17, Margarethe met James Edward Shields during his tour of Germany with the U.S. Air Force.  They married in 1954 in Höchst, Germany, and journeyed with their young daughter and their German Shepherd, Dorn, to the United States aboard the U.S.S. General William O. Darby.  While underway, the ship encountered Hurricane Edna, the first name of Margarethe’s new Mother-in-law.  The two went on to form a wonderful, strong and loving bond.

Margarethe taught herself to speak English fluently by reading Harlequin Romance novels and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in January, 1961.  Throughout their marriage, Margarethe and Jim lived in many places including Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Las Vegas, NV, Olivehurst, CA, and Peoria, IL, before settling in Pardeeville, in 1967. Margarethe worked many jobs to support her family including a cookware factory in Peoria, IL, Badger Army Ammunition Plant and Almet Lawnlite, in Baraboo, and lastly, Converter Concepts in Pardeeville until her retirement in 2000.

Eight people were honored and blessed to call Margarethe “Mom”: Gabriele, Roy, Ronald, Raymond, Thairn, Robert, Rodney and Heidi.  Margarethe had no greater joy and took no greater pride than that of raising her children and loving her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She spent her days beating everyone at Scrabble even though English was not her native language.  She enjoyed jamming to German music and dancing the two-step in the kitchen with anyone who happened to walk by.  Many nights were spent around the kitchen table playing Penny-ante Poker and Seven-card No Peek.  Margarethe was a great fan of the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Cubs, and NASCAR’s Matt Kenseth, and loved to watch them on TV with her family.  Margarethe firmly believed that the success of her team was directly related to whether or not she wore her team t-shirt.  Margarethe’s sense of humor was enjoyed by all who knew her and lives on in her family where it will always be remembered and cherished. 

She is survived by her children: Gabriele (John) Fisher, of Washington State, Ronald (Mickie) Shields, of Illinois, Raymond (Helen) Shields, of Florida, Thairn (Brian) TeLindert of Portage, Robert Shields, of Pardeeville, Rodney (Jessica) Shields, of Virginia, and Heidi Shields, of Wisconsin Dells.  She is further survived by her beloved grandchildren: April (Trent) Taylor, Donald (Kristi) Fisher, Jaime (Douglas) Baerwolf, Roy Michael (Sara Herrick) Shields, Bill (Gin) Rue, Joe Rue, Jake Shields, Gavin Shields, Rachel (Brian) Yakey, Adam Shields, Teresa Shields, Naomi Shields, Nikayla TeLindert, and Noreen (David) Fredrick.  Margarethe put the “Great” in Great-grandmother for: Madelyn, Dillon, and Bryce Taylor, John and Rhiannon Fisher, Colten and Cayden Pergande, Connor and Collin Baerwolf, Ken and Anthony Rue, Madelyn and Liam Yakey, Nathaniel Shields, Tyler and Jordan Frederick and Emelia (Zack) Wade (and their daughter Karsyn). 

Margarethe leaves behind many relatives and friends in Germany.  She looked forward to annual visits from her niece Renate and great-nephew, Daniel.  Long-standing friendships blessed Margarethe’s life and she held many people dear, especially her best friend, Monika Wills. Margerethe believed strongly in the love and companionship of animals.  She will be profoundly missed by her cherished Siamese cat, Daisy.  Margarethe was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her eldest son, Roy William in 2010, and his wife, Kathy, in 2014, as well as her siblings: Anna, Katherine and Fritz, and her treasured nephew, Gerhard. 

The Shields family would like to thank the outstanding staff of University Hospitals Burn Unit ICU as well as the vast team of doctors who worked around the clock to provide the best possible care for Margarethe.  Special appreciation goes to Dr. Jarjour of the Critical Care team for his expertise, his kindness, his honesty and his never-ending supply of whimsical Christmas trees.  Thank you also to Dr. Simpson of the Palliative Care team and to the UW staff Chaplains who provided great comfort to Margarethe and her family during hospice care.                         .

Memorial services will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home, 430 W. Wisconsin Street, in Portage with Pastor Tom Countryman officiating.  Friends may call on Thursday, from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the time of the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.  

She made broken look beautiful and
strong look invincible.
She walked with the universe on her
shoulders and made it look like a pair
of wings.

Wir lieben dich, Mama/Oma. In frieden jet zt im himmel mit ihrer kostbaren sohn.


For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)