The community was saddened November 21 when war veteran and Altavista history buff Sir Andrew Jackson “Jack” Shields passed away at age 96.
“Sir Jack” as he was often called (since he was a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor) was a kind, gentle man who will be greatly missed.
Although 96, his memory was outstanding and he could be counted on to supply information about the town as well as the military.
Altavista Journal staff are especially saddened since he was a valued resource and friend who could always be counted on to write articles for the paper on history and the military when asked.
He wrote an article on Armistice Day earlier this month for the Journal.
Sir Jack was deeply in love with his wife of almost 73 years, Marguerite Sizemore Shields, who passed away in August. Losing her was a blow that he had not recovered from.
He was a veteran of the U. S. Army and had spent the first part of his service in Panama where he contracted Malaria. Later he was transferred to a unit that would be sent to Europe where he continued his work in radar. He participated in five major battles including the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. The liberation of Dachau was an experience that our service men, including Sir Jack, would never forget.
For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.