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Joann Barbara (Catanzaro) Shields


Joann Barbara (Catanzaro) Shields passed away peacefully on January 24th at her home on Amelia Island, Florida at the age of 90.

Joann was born on March 11, 1933 in St. Louis, Missouri to Joseph and Helen (Marshall) Catanzaro, the third of five children. She grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, where she attended Loretto Academy, Nerinx Hall High School, and Webster College. After graduating from St. Louis University in 1955, Joann worked in St. Louis as a secretary for Hellmuth, Obata, Kassabaum Architects, and for Shell Oil Company.

At a Knights of Columbus dance in 1960, Joann met Jim Shields. Joann’s beautiful smile and sparkling personality not only caught Jim’s attention, but also captured his heart. They married in 1961 and over the next six years, Jim and Joann welcomed three children into their lives: Jeanne, Mike, and Greg. Joann and Jim raised their family in Des Peres, Missouri, in a home filled with love, support, and laughter.

Joann loved fashion, reading, ice cream drumsticks, swimming laps, trips to The Hill, L’Air du Temps perfume, and the sound of crickets—but most of all she loved her family. Joann (a/k/a “JoJo”, “Mimi”) held her children in a special place in her heart, and she adored her four grandchildren. She let it be known that her most important role as a mother was making sure her children always knew how much she loved them. Joann encouraged her children to live with a sense of curiosity, discovery, and down-to-earth integrity. And to the end, she lived with the wonder of a child. She loved her family deeply and her unwavering kindness will inspire us forever.

Joann is preceded in death by her husband Jim in 2015, sister Jeanne, and brothers Marshall and Richard. She is survived by her children Jeanne (John Gresens), Michael (Barbara), and Gregory (Jenna); her grandchildren Matthew, Luke, Cameron, and Michaela; her sister Frances “Mitzi” McMahon; as well as beloved nieces and nephews.

Joann was a wonderful, caring mother and grandmother and a devoted friend. She will be missed by all who knew her.

A Mass and celebration of Joann’s life will be held at a future date in St. Louis, Missouri.


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