Cover photo for John E Shields's Obituary
John E Shields Profile Photo

John E Shields

March 9, 1953 — February 17, 2022

John E Shields

Age 68 of Wilmington, Illinois, died Thursday, February 17, 2022 at AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Born March 9, 1953 in Joliet, John Earl was a son of John Robert and Mary Earleen (Sandiford) Shields. He was raised in Joliet, received a Catholic education at St. Anne Parochial School in Crest Hill, and went on to graduate from Plainfield High School with the Class of 1971. On September 14, 1974, John married Elaine Wajerski, and together they made their home in Plainfield before John built their family home in Wilmington where they raised a family.

John’s career as a skilled tradesman began at Caterpillar in Joliet. From there he launched his home remodeling business: John’s Johns, which he ran for many years. Before retiring he worked in maintenance at Holy Family Catholic School in Shorewood.

John was a man of many interests and talents. He loved the outdoors, fishing, Chicago sports, traveling, painting, and playing the guitar. Music was a backdrop to all of these, and it was a bond that he shared with everyone in his life. Above all, John loved spending time with his beloved wife, children and grandchildren. Each grandchild learned how to fish, laugh, and be creative and silly from their “Popeye”.

Survivors include his wife, Elaine; two daughters: Melissa (David) Grimstead of Kentucky and Amanda (Jon) Swearengen of Lindenhurst; four grandchildren: Brandon Grimstead, Breanna Grimstead, Ava Swearengen and Andrew Swearengen; two sisters: Joanne (Robert) Flagg of Oswego and Jacqueline (Craig) Goode of Joliet; his mother-in-law, Darlene Wajerski of Palatine and two sisters-in-law: Linda (Steven) Tobin of Algonquin and Sharlene (Michael) Walters of Lake Zurich, and several nieces.

John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Shields; father-in-law, Francis Wajerski; one sister, Judith Shields and one brother-in-law, David Wajerski.

The family will receive friends for a visitation at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington on Thursday, February 24, 2022 between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will follow on Friday morning, February 25, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 604 South Kankakee Street in Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Sebastian Gargol presiding.

Burial will be in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wilmington.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in John’s memory to the family for their distribution.

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. (815-476-2181)

To send flowers to the family in memory of John E Shields, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, February 24, 2022

4:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

Baskerville Funeral Home Wilmington

700 East Kahler Road, Wilmington, IL 60481

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 25, 2022

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

Mass of Christian Burial

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Friday, February 25, 2022

11:15 - 11:45am (Central time)

Burial following Mass

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