Dorothy “Poogie” Wyatt Shields, 84, of Crozet, died peacefully at her daughter’s house in Greenwood on March 28, 2020.
Born in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 1936, Poogie was the daughter of Joseph Willard Wyatt and Dorothy Georgens Wyatt. She grew up in Alexandria, Va. and lived most of her adult life in Greenwood and Crozet. She was a graduate of St. Agnes School, Sweet Briar College, and the University of Virginia. Her professional career included serving as Athletics Administrative Assistant at Western Albemarle High School, Director of Christian Education (Emmanuel Church, Greenwood), and Guidance Counselor at Stewart Middle School (Augusta Co.).
Throughout her life, Poogie served those in need. After her children were grown, she left Greenwood to serve as a resident counselor with Covenant House (Ft Lauderdale, FL), the Samaritan Inn (Washington DC), and later dedicated herself to the missions of Richmond Hill and the Peter Paul Development Center (Richmond). With each, she developed friendships that enriched her life.
She was a devoted member of Emmanuel (Greenwood), St. Peter’s (Richmond), and Trinity (Arlington) Episcopal churches. In her later years, she took great joy in attending Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Batesville.
Poogie is survived by her four children and their spouses: Sarah Shields Britt and Sam, Carter Wyatt Shields and Stephen Potter, Julia Lewis Shields and Steve Hawkes, Frederick Wyatt Shields and Patty; seven grandchildren: Julia and Virginia Britt, Robbie Potter, Eleanor and Joe Hawkes, and Leidy and Carlos Shields; her sister-in-law Julia Lewis Shields; and her ex-husband Frederick Wyatt Shields, Jr. and Christine Andersen.
Poogie loved an adventure, whether it was camping on the Appalachian Trail, a long road trip to California with four kids and Aunt Julie, or moving the family to Paris for a year while she wrote her master’s thesis. In all her adventures, the true purpose was to visit with old friends and make new ones.
All who knew her in her later years admired how she set the terms in her struggle with Parkinson’s Disease—she “did it her way” until the end. Her zest for life and for strong connection with friends and family never lessened. She enjoyed family trips to the beach and to Shrine Mont, playing games, writing stories and poetry, and singing. She was beloved for her courage, compassion, optimism, and humor. Recipients of her emails became familiar with her signature line, a quote from the poet Elinor Wylie, “In masks outrageous and austere / The years go by in single file / But none has merited my fear / And none has quite escaped my smile.”
The family is grateful to friends at the Lodge at Old Trail and in the Crozet community, who embraced her and helped her with activities such as sporting events, grocery shopping, and regular meetings.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Peter Paul Development Center, Richmond, or Holy Cross Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 12, Batesville, VA 22924.