Obituary of Mary Catherine Shields
Mary Catherine Smith was born in Speedwell, Tennessee on September 27, 1942. She was the daughter of Lonnie Smith and Lilly (Leach) Smith. She attended Cawood and Powell Valley Schools in Speedwell.
Mary married Eugene Sparks on June 23, 1959, in Claiborne County, Tennessee and from their union was born two children: Fred and Tammy. The couple moved to Michigan to find work and Mary was employed several years as a waitress for Ellison’s Restaurant on the Eastside of Monroe. She later married William Charles “Bill” Shields on November 8, 1975, and once again was blessed with two children: Greg and Brad.
Mary was a lifelong member of Evergreen Acres Missionary Baptist Church. At the church she was a former Sunday School Teacher, Bible School Assistant, and member of the WMU (Women’s Missionary Union).
Mary was always in search of a good deal, being an avid couponer. She liked to peruse local garage sales to fill her trunk with treasures. However, she wasn’t afraid to negotiate a lower price if need be. Mary enjoyed being outside caring for her garden and tending to her flowers. For many years she participated in bowling league play at Nortel Lanes. She loved to spend time with her family, and the children warmly recall Friday Night K-Mart runs and Little Cesars pizza. Upon making her residence at the Lutheran Home (now Wellspring Lutheran Services), Mary quickly fell in love with the spirited games of bingo she found there. Mary was well loved by all at Wellspring. Her warm smile, laugh, listening ear, and faith drew people to her.
Mary Catherine Shields, age 81, of Monroe passed away on Wednesday; October 25, 2023, at Wellspring Lutheran Services in Monroe, surrounded by her loving family. She had been in declining health for some time. Her passing was preceded by her parents; both former spouses; a stepdaughter: Denise Mata; two sisters: Juanita and Dorothy Smith; three brothers: Conley Smith, Hobert Smith, and Lonnie Smith Jr.; sister-in-law: Bonnie Smith; brother-in-law: Ernest Manning; and a special nephew: Larry Manning.
To cherish her memory, she leaves five children: Fred Sparks, Tammy Sparks, Donnie Shields, Greg (Tonya) Shields, and Brad (Holli) Shields; a sister: Edna Manning; a sister-in-law: Kathleen Smith; fourteen grandchildren: Autumn Sparks, Lance (MacKenzie) Shields, Jackson Shields, Isaac, Haven, Micah, Joseph, Titus, Lewis, Malachi, Hannah, Hazel, Owen, and Hayleyana Shields.
Friends may gather from 2:00pm until 8:00pm on Sunday; October 29, 2023, at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. She will lie in state from 10:00am until 11:00am on Monday; October 30, 2023, at Evergreen Acres Missionary Baptist Church; East Dunbar Road, Monroe, Michigan 48161. A Funeral Service Celebrating Her Life will take place at 11:00am. Procession will follow to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle for burial.
Memorial contributions for those who desire are suggested to Evergreen Acres Missionary Baptist Church. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com. The family would like to thank all of the staff at Wellspring Lutheran Services for the care they provided Mary during her stay there.