July 13, 2020
The last member of the Natchitoches Blues-Men, Ocie Shields, passed away July 13, 2020, surrounded by family and a cache of soothing blues tunes and joyous Christian music. The 78 year resident of Natchitoches was known to many as a musician. With his masterful strum, the natural born bass guitarist entertained the community along with his band -The Natchitoches Blues-Men which featured the late Major Helaire – noted by the Louisiana Folk Life Center.
Through the decades, Ocie’s gracious and gruff personality was endeared among PanAmans and Jackson Squareans who fondly called him “Big O” and a few who affectionately knew him as “The Great Outdoorsman.”
Professionally, he spent many years as a foreman at the Natchitoches Oil Mill. Outside the mill, “The Great Outdoorsman” avidly watched passersby, strong-armed fishing lines, was a proud Chiefs spectator of Friday night lights, and in his healthier days, he amassed the treasure from sprawling pecan trees.
He relocated to North Texas in November 2019 with his daughter, where he passed away at Medical City McKinney.
Ocie, the fourth son of Columbus Shields, Sr. and Joella Davis Shields Hart was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Shields and is survived by his brothers, Columbus Shields Jr. and wife Glo and Lonnie Shields Sr.; sisters, Nora Fowler, Shirley Young and husband James and Rosa Hamilton and husband Joseph, all of Natchitoches; daughter, Shirley Holmes of Houston; son, Johnathan Shields and wife Fuleesha of Dallas; daughter Rozlyn Shields Geason and husband Cory of Prosper, Texas; son, Chris Shields of Vancouver, BC; and daughter LaShonda Nobles of Natchitoches; 21 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, a host nieces, nephews, relatives and best friend, Donald.
Arrangements in progress.