Barbara Wrenn Shields

December 25, 1944 ~ September 20, 2020 (age 75)


Barbara Wrenn Shields 
South Burlington, VT

Barb passed away peacefully at home on September 28, 2020 after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer with her husband and best friend of 51 years, Art Shields by her side. Barb was born December 25, 1944, in Waterbury, CT, the daughter of the late Raymond and Margaret Wrenn.  She attended parochial schools there and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in June of 1962. Barb received her B.S. degree in 1966 from Trinity College in Burlington. After graduation, she worked as a medical technologist at DeGoesbriand Hospital prior to its merger with Fletcher Allen. Several years after the merger, she worked for the Vermont State Health Department working on infectious diseases. 

At an early age, Barb was taught how to sew and her passion for sewing continued throughout her life. What started out as a hobby of making  quilts and pillows for friends and relatives turned into a successful home business, Calico Expression,  employing as many as four seamstresses. Barb and Art traveled throughout the US to many of the largest wholesale trade shows where she sold to retail stores, gift shops, museums, and television outlets. Among her many clients were, the Smithsonian Museum Gift Shop, the Shelburne Museum, Dollywood, and QVC. When the business grew to the point where she became more of a business manager than a quilt designer, she sold it and went back to sewing for pleasure.  She was a talented artist with a great sense of color and design and won numerous ribbons at the Vermont Quilt Festival. Barb was a long-time member of Vermont Hand Crafters and the PFAFF Club of Middlebury.

Barb is survived by her husband Art; her brother in-law and wife, Hamilton and Sarah Shields of Beaconsfield, England; her niece, Elinor Shields and partner Adrian Brendel and their two sons Nico and Lukey of London, England; her niece Laura Shields and husband Peter Rowland and their son William of Brussels, Belgium; her cousin Ellen Eastwood and husband Richard Chursciel of Marlborough, CT;  and her cousin Lewis Eastwood and wife Ellen of Wethersfield, CT. 

The family would like to thank Dr. Farrah Kahn, her oncologist for her friendship, compassion, kindness and great sense of humor throughout Barb’s treatment. They would also like to thank the many wonderful and caring nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center’s hematology and oncology laboratory for the love and warm and tender care they had for Barb and all their patients. They are a special and remarkable group of individuals. Lastly, they would like to thank the nurses and staff on Miller 5 for the wonderful care and compassion shown to Barb. And finally, they would like to thank nurse Brittany Mann from UVM’s Home Health and Hospice for her wonderful and caring treatment she provided to Barb over many months of treatments. 

Due to the COVID-19, Barb requested there be no service or celebration of her life at this time which could put the health of those in attendance at risk. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her memory can be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 397, Montpelier, VT 05601-0937; the American Heart Association, 110 Main Street, Suite 203, Burlington, VT 05401, and the Humane Society of Chittenden County, 142 Kindness Court, So. Burlington, VT 05403.


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