F. Douglas Shields, Sr.
“…a prince and a great man has fallen in Israel…” 2 Samuel 3.38
F. Douglas Shields, Sr., 91, passed away on Sept. 1, 2018. Cora Beal Hardison Shields, the light and love of his life and his wife of nearly 70 years, was by his side at the time.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Coleman Funeral Home, and Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Oxford Church of Christ (409 North Lamar Blvd., Oxford, MS 38655). A funeral service will immediately follow at 2 p.m. at the Oxford Church of Christ. Interment will be at Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of arrangements.
He was born on Oct. 27, 1926, in Nashville, Tenn. He attended David Lipscomb High School, Tennessee Technological University and Vanderbilt University. He served in the U. S. Army Air Corps in World War II, and served on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Mississippi, where he served more than 40 years as a Professor of Physics, Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and as a Founding Scientist of the National Center for Physical Acoustics.
His academic research in the fundamentals of acoustic propagation led to the development of standard methods that are now used every day by acousticians all over the world. He never lost his excitement for discovery.
He exerted a great impact on his field through his own work and through his encouragement and interaction with a host of colleagues and students. However, his primary endeavors in life revolved around his family and the kingdom of God, which he saw clearly as the Lord’s church.
At an early age, his mentors convinced him that a Christian should make life decisions with kingdom goals in mind. Convinced that a public university was an important venue for the gospel message, he moved to Oxford to teach at Ole Miss in 1959.
He served the Oxford Church of Christ from then until his passing as a teacher, deacon, elder and encourager.
Cora Beal was his full partner in this ministry and together they used their home, offering hospitality to small and great. Doug and Cora Beal worked with other zealous Christians to establish the University Christian Student Center in 1960, and that ministry continues today under direction of the Oxford Church of Christ as “Rebels for Christ.”
Dr. Shields is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Cora Beal Hardison Shields; two daughters, McKay Murray (Lambert) of Searcy, Ark. and Anne Lehman of Oxford; two sons, Doug Shields, Jr. (Becky) of Oxford and Ben Shields (Sheila) of Little Rock, Ark.; 11 grandchildren, Nathan Murray (Carla), Alice-Anne Light (Brad), Laura Shields, Bradley Shields (Paige), Harry Lehman III (Annie), Heather Kellis (Ross), Haley Main (Hunter), Benjamin Shields, Kayely-Morganne Shields, Anna-Grace Shields and Molly-Elizabeth Shields; and by eight great-grandchildren.
Dr. Shields was preceded in death by his parents, Ben C. Shields, Sr. and Alice Srygley Shields; a sister, Jean Shields Starling; a brother, Ben C. Shields, Jr. and two grandchildren, Landon Murray and Sarah-Jane Shields Bedwell (Joe).
Donations and memorials in honor of Dr. Shields, Sr., may be made to the donor’s choice of University Christian Student Center (409 Jackson Ave. West, Oxford, MS 38655), World Bible School (www.worldbibleschool.net/gifts/new), or the Harding University Department of Physics and Engineering (www.harding.edu/advancement).
Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall at www.colemanfuneralhome.com.