Daniel Ryan Shields Sr., who had been a painting contractor, an East Hampton Town Parks Department employee, and an Amagansett Fire Department captain, died on Dec. 27 at Southampton Hospital of congestive heart failure and complications of the disease. He was 79 and had been ill for some time.
With his wife, the former Joy Lyons Roesel of Sagaponack, who survives, Mr. Shields traveled across the United States and throughout England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. They were married in September 1996 and shared an appreciation for classic cars. Wearing matching jackets, they went to many local and out-of-state car shows over the years and exhibited their 1955 Crown Victoria in many parades. The car was noted for its vintage and also for being black, pink, and white, with a Betty Boop doll in the backseat.
Mr. Shields was born in Southampton on Aug. 23, 1937, the son of the former Alice Fithian and Charlie Shields. He attended East Hampton schools, and was on their football and baseball teams. He couldn’t wait for East Hampton’s Town Pond to freeze, his family said, since he played ice hockey and was a terrific figure skater.
As a member of East Hampton High School’s football team of 1952, the only undefeated, untied team in East Hampton’s history, he was recently inducted into the high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduating from high school, he entered the Navy at age 17 and was stationed in Sanford, Fla.
In 1959, he married Linda Lee Finch of Amagansett. The couple lived in that hamlet, where Mr. Shields established his own painting company. He later took a job with the town, where he worked until retirement.
An active member of the Amagansett Fire Department for 15 years, Mr. Shields was the captain of Company 2.
When his first wife suffered a debilitating illness and became wheelchair-bound, he dedicated himself as her caregiver. “He helped everyone in need before himself,” and was known in the community for his selflessness, his family said. Linda Shields died in 1992.
In addition to his current wife, Mr. Shields is survived by a son, Daniel R. Shields II of Amagansett, and a daughter, Darlene Shields Bartoletta of Tampa, Fla., along with five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Also surviving are a sister, Patty LaCarrubba of Amgansett, three stepchildren, Michael Roesel and Ricky Roesel of Sag Harbor and Kristy Brabant of East Hampton, and seven step-grandchildren.
A wake was held on Friday at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, followed by a service at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, the Rev. Donald M. Hanson presiding. Burial took place on Saturday at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery in East Hampton.