Merwin Ladell “Muggs” Schield, 86, died on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 in his home at Park Rapids, MN. A Celebration Service will be held on Saturday, May 5, at 11:00 a.m. at the Worthington Christian Church, 1501 N. Douglas, Worthington, MN. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be private at a later date. Muggs Schield was born in Montevideo, MN on January 1, 1926, to Rae and Lillian (Miles) Schield. The family moved to a farm near Waverly, IA, in 1931 where he attended country school through the 8th grade. At 13 years of age he started working full time on the farm and at his uncles’ limestone quarry. In 1943, at 17 years old, Muggs enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific theater of World War II. He was honorably discharged in May of 1946. He returned to Waverly, IA, and began a career in the underground construction industry along with his brother Preston. He moved to Worthington, MN, in 1947, bringing Worthington’s first backhoe with him. After researching the rates others were charging for digging ditches by hand and digging basements with horses and slip-scrappers, Muggs began marketing his excavation business to Worthington citizens. Muggs married Berneva Joyce “Neva” Anderson of Worthington on February 21, 1949. While raising their family of eight children, Muggs and Neva operated their excavating business in Worthington until 1988. Schield Construction Co., Inc. eventually served a three state area specializing in municipal water and sewer projects. Many of the young men trained by Muggs to operate construction equipment or manage construction projects are still making a living doing so. When Muggs retired at 62 years of age, he and Neva moved to their cabin on Big Mantrap Lake near Nevis, MN. Muggs enjoyed cabin remodeling, fishing, snowmobiling and singing in church there. He was often called on to sing at funerals or family concerts. Although not in business any longer, Muggs did get talked into utilizing his T35 Schield Bantam backhoe to help his neighbors and church put in their septic systems. They sold the Mantrap cabin in 1993 and lived briefly in New Ulm, MN. In 1994 they moved to their current home on Potato Lake near Park Rapids, MN. Muggs again took up cabin remodeling, fishing, and singing. Muggs was baptized into Christ as an adult at the Worthington Church of Christ by Pastor Virgil Taylor. He remained faithful to that commitment the rest of his life. Near the end of life Muggs affirmed his faith by proclaiming to his family, “I know who I am; I am one of God’s children.” He will be remembered for his bright smile, hearty laugh and jovial ways. He lived a full, happy life. Muggs Schield is survived by his wife Neva, children Sandy (Leon) Stugelmeyer, Sally (Robert) Laha, Bonny (Kenneth) Nelson, Tom (Nancy) Schield, Toby (Patricia) Schield, Don (Karen) Schield, Eric (Sherrie) Schield, and Tay (Larry) Odor. His surviving grandchildren are Megan (Eric) Ellison, Levi Stugelmeyer, Jennifer Laha, Ben Laha, Gabriel (Marianne) Nelson, Isaac (Rebekah) Nelson, Jacob Nelson, Jessup (Danielle) Schield, Tyler (Nikki) Schield, Jennie Schield, Milan Schield, Jon Schield, Ahne Schield, Drew Schield, Aubrey Schield, Joshua Schield, Corbin Schield, Hallie Schield, Josiah Odor, and Jordan Odor. Muggs is also survived by great-grandchildren Grace Laha, Jayden Nelson, Hannah Nelson, Megan Nelson, Simon Nelson, Cadence Nelson, Jonah Schield, Justin Schield, Aidan Schield and Luke Schield. Muggs’ surviving siblings and in-laws include Ramona (Don) Wurdinger, Gilbert Schield, Justin (Marie) Anderson, Norma Boyer, Gwen (Dale) Pfundt, and Terry (Trisha) Anderson. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews as well as many dear friends.
Muggs was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law Justin “Jet” Anderson, his mother-in-law Jennie Anderson, grandchildren Elizabeth Joy Schield and Robert Randall Laha III, siblings Preston Schield and Shirley Schield, brothers-in-law Ralph Anderson and Richard Anderson, and many dear friends who have gone on before him.
Memorials may be given to Pine Haven Christian Assembly in Park Rapids, MN, a place dear to Muggs.