Anne “Nan” Shields Garrett died on June 24 after a short battle with cancer. During her final weeks in hospice home care, she was showered with love from family and friends and was overwhelmed with a multitude of lovely cards and flowers that truly touched her heart. She was also comforted by the constant visits of hummingbirds outside her window and by a solitary male quail that kept vigil for several weeks. Anne “Nan” Clark Shields was born on June 29, 1942 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the first of five children born to George Henry Shields Jr. and Nancy Clark Shields. She attended Marywood Academy, Grand Rapids and Emma Willard School in Troy, New York. She also attended Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, New York. At the age of 21, she moved to San Francisco where she modeled for Saks Fifth Avenue. While attending a wedding for a friend in Phoenix, she met James Wendell Garrett. After a few months of visits, a rose a day and a box full of letters, they were married on April 11, 1964. As a new bride and mother in a new town, she found ways to volunteer and pursue it. passions for reading, art, horses and the conviction to give back. She was a member of the Phoenix Zoo Auxiliary which sponsored the Aid to Zoo horse competition, allowing her to be near beautiful examples of an animal she loved. She was a guide at the Phoenix Art Museum, one of her true passions, before becoming group president in 1997/98. It was through the guides that she found many of her friends and kindred spirits who enjoyed art, history and travel. She also volunteered with CASA, working with several children as advocates as they navigated their way through the courts and the welfare system. She was predeceased by her husband in October 2000. Despite this difficult loss, she sought ways to make a meaningful contribution to her community. She attended Arizona State University, earned her college degree in education, and later taught fifth grade, at the age of 60, at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School. She transitioned into a volunteer role sharing her passion for reading with young students at elementary schools in the Valley, including St Francis and Madison District schools. In addition to teaching reading, she has been a member of several book clubs over the years, which has kept her in touch with friends and current literary topics. She was a woman of remarkable beauty, a quality matched only by her grace and elegance. Even in their sixties, strangers approached her and commented on her beauty. She used her gift to warm the hearts of children and try to bring light to those whose life was a daily struggle. She believed in what she had been taught at Emma Willard: “To whom much is given, much is required”. She leaves to mourn: her children Greg and Allison and their spouses Elizabeth and Chandler, her grandchildren Eleanor “Ellie” and George Garrett, her sister Marion Albu and her brother Geoff Shields and her faithful canine companions Milo and Buffy. A memorial service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church on September 8 at 10:30 a.m.
Posted on September 02, 2022
Posted in The Arizona Republic