John Ogden Schaeffer Shields
John Ogden Schaeffer Shields
  • December 8, 1925 - December 5, 2016
  • Saint Louis, Missouri

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SHIELDS, JOHN OGDEN SCHAEFFER, fortified with the sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Monday, December 05, 2016.

Mr. Shields, born in St. Louis on December 8, 1925, was preceded in death in 2013 by the love of his life and wife of 62 years, Claire Lothman Shields.

He is survived by his six children: John Ogden Schaeffer Shields, Jr. "Jay" (Maria) of St. Louis; Meg (Jamie) Duke of Cherry Hills Village, CO; Carla Guarascio of Edwards, CO; Madonna (John) Merritt of Lake Bluff, IL; Tricia (Doug) Folger of Scottsdale, AZ; and William Matthew II "Chip" Shields of Portland, OR. Plus 19 grandchildren: Marguerite, Patrick, John and Julia Shields; Jamie (Jesse) Duke, Jr., Margo (Will) Simpson, Caroline Duke; Jenna and Kelly Guarascio; Jack Walsh, Tom and Melissa Merritt; Maddie (Connor) Davidson, Will and Colin Marston, Jennifer (Drew) Sampson, Jeff (Claudette) Folger and Claire Folger; Ruby Shields - and 5 great grandchildren.

Mr. Shields was a graduate of Christian Brothers College Prep. , where he was inducted into that school's Hall of Fame in September 2016. He graduated from St. Louis University and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, training as a waist gunner.

An avid athlete, he was also inducted into the Missouri Athletic Club Hall of Fame for his years as Squash and Handball Club Champion. He speed skated in his youth, and introduced the competitive sport to each of his six children, as both coach and cheerleader.

Always passionate about the welfare of our country, he held positions in the Crosby Kemper for U.S. Senate and Barry Goldwater for President campaigns. He ran for councilman of Ladue and U.S. Congress (MO-2nd District), as well as being a two-time delegate for Ronald Reagan at the Missouri Republican conventions.

His philanthropic involvement was extensive, first providing weekly meals and activities for a needy child as a "Big Brother," eventually serving as President of the local chapter. He was Chairman and a longtime board member of the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, that battled Communism since 1958. Since its inception, he was also very involved with Eagle Forum, led by Phyllis Schlafly. As a devout pro-life advocate, he and his wife Claire devoted many years to Birthright Counseling of St. Louis, Inc. As a longtime supporter of charter schools and educational vouchers, he was an active board member of Gateway Academy.

His business career began in 1951 when he was a top sales person for IBM. Later he became one of the top estate planning and life insurance sales professionals in St. Louis joining Projected Planning Co., and later as Vice President of W. Alfred Hayes & Company. In 1981 his career took an abrupt turn. That year, family company Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. suffered the tragic and unexpected loss of its three principals: Brother Tom Shields (President), Brother Gwynne Shields (VP, Production Manager) and Marty Schwab (VP, National Sales Manager). Rather than sell the company, Mr. Shields and his sister, Jacqueline Shields Herrmann restructured the company so it could never be sold and would stay within the family to provide for future generations of Schaeffer family and Schaeffer associates.

The 177 year-old company (St. Louis' oldest, founded by Mr. Shields' great grandfather Nicholas Schaeffer in 1839) was saved. Schaeffer, which started making candles, soap, engine oil for steamships and axle grease for Conestoga wagons, today makes synthetic oil, grease, fuel additives, and other lubricants, as well as agricultural products. John Schaeffer Shields became Chairman in 1981 and this began Schaeffer's extended period of growth from $14 million in sales to approximately $140 million today, a ten-fold increase. It boasts over 600 associates and sells nationally, as well as internationally in 40 different countries. Ten family members are employed at the company, including 3 from the 6th generation.

SERVICES: A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Church of the Annunziata in Ladue, 9305 Clayton Road at Cella Road, on Friday, December 9, at 10:30 am. Private interment Calvary Cemetery. You are invited to attend a reception immediately following mass.

Masses preferred or contributions may be made to Birthright Counseling of St. Louis, 2525 S. Brentwood Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63144.