We are deeply saddened to share the news that PEC Board member James “Jim” Shields of Long Valley, NJ, passed away on September 5, 2020.
Born April 6, 1960, in Glasgow, Scotland, Jim immigrated to the United States in 1968 and became a naturalized citizen in 1976. After graduating from Hackensack High School, he received degrees in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University (B.S., 1983) and Stevens Institute of Technology (M.S., 1986).
He served in the U.S. Army at Picatinny Arsenal from 1983 to 2017. His professional accomplishments included serving as Program Manager for the Joint Lightweight 155mm Howitzer (2004) and Deputy Program Executive Officer Ammunition (2009-2014), finishing his service as the Program Executive Officer Ammunition (2014-2017). He retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and began Shields Consulting Services, LLC, advising private military defense contracting companies. He was committed to the Joint Warfighter throughout his career. Please enjoy this article about his retirement: https://www.army.mil/article/199413/picatinnys_highest_ranking_civilian_retires_after_35_years
In addition to serving as a PEC Board member, Jim was a member of the Army Acquisition Corps, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Association of the United States Army, and the United States Army Field Artillery Association. His awards include the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the Superior Civilian Service Medal; the National Defense Industrial Association’s Firepower Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production and the John A. Ulrich Award; the Field Artillery Association’s Ancient Order of Saint Barbara Medal; the Armor Association’s Saint George Medal; the Ordnance Corps Samuel Sharp Medal; and the Army Engineer Association’s de Fleury Medal.
In 1981 Jim married the love of his life, Christine, whom he met at Rutgers. Jim and Christine were best friends who were beginning to make the most of their golden years by hiking, biking, cruising around in the convertible, and traveling to visit their daughters&emdash; truly making the most out of life after so many years of hard work and dedication to his career, country, and family. He was also very proud of his daughters, Sarah and Julie, and their commitment to education and dedication to work.
Jim’s contagious laughter will be missed. Whether telling a story or joke or watching a video, he infected himself and others with uncontrollable laughter. He loved competition and never showed any mercy on family game night. In retirement, he consistently attended gym classes (until his back sidelined him temporarily), tried his hand at fly fishing, and consistently displayed his excellent cooking skills. Most of all, throughout his life Jim was a loyal, passionate, and selfless person.
Jim is predeceased by his parents, James and Ellen Shields, and survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Christine, and daughters Sarah and Julie. He is also survived by his sister, Claire Shields, her husband Greg DiMonte and daughter Olivia; his in-laws, Andre and Liliane Herssens, Walter and Edilma Herssens, Patrick and Helen Herssens and their children Alec and Jacqueline, and Nancy Herssens.
Jim represented the American Dream. His parents came to this country seeking a better life for their children. With very little money, they worked hard to ensure their children had the best opportunities. Jim was the first family member to graduate college and look what he achieved.
Jim’s extensive knowledge and experience were invaluable to the PEC. We will build on all he shared with the PEC as we continue our mission, one that Jim believed in and supported throughout his life.
Donations in memory of Jim can be made to The Salvation Army: https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/give/164006/#!/donation/checkout