Kay Shields (Shields) Koeb

February 4, 2019


Kay was born to Claude and Marie Shields in November of 1918 at Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second of three children, she lived in Salt Lake until 1944. She attended the Universities of Utah and Washington, graduating from the latter with a Bachelor of Arts in 1938. She received both her Master of Arts from Columbia University and her Utah Teaching Certificate in 1940. Work consisted of both teaching and working in the dispatch center for the nascent United Airlines in Salt Lake City. During a relocation to Los Angeles for a few years she apprenticed as a sketch artist for Selznick Studios and as a painter for the Walt Disney Studio animation department. In 1948 she married Richard “Dick” Koeb and they lived for a number of years in San Marino, a Los Angeles suburb South of Pasadena. While residing there she gave birth to three boys. When Dick took a job with the Bank of Douglas in 1955, they moved to Phoenix. That bank later became the original Arizona Bank. Three years later Dick became involved in organizing a new Presbyterian church in Scottsdale, and both became Charter Members. At the same time, Kay helped establish the charter choir and initial church services were held in what was one member’s home and art gallery. She so loved singing that in 1960 she helped found The McConnell Singers, a woman’s chorus directed by Dale McConnell, who also directed the Church’s choir in the 1960’s. In 1974 she joined the Church’s Cooks’ Tour in the White Elephant Department — along with joining Goodwill Auxiliary’s Antique Sale Committee. She stayed with the Auxiliary for thirty years, earning Goodwill’s Western Area Volunteer of the Year in 1975. She also loved bridge and played it regularly. Kay and Dick enjoyed car camping, hiking and the occasional backpack throughout the Western states. She added river rafting to her resume in the 1970’s, having been down the Colorado River twice — one time included a backpack down the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch and out through Havasu Canyon. Her participation in Elderhostel, now Road Scholar, amounted to forty trips, three of which were overseas. She was in good health for most of her one hundred years, and lived by herself for almost twenty-six years. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Lester, husband Dick and son Scott. She is survived by her sister, Carol, two of her sons and their wives, and a granddaughter. Her son Chris requests that in lieu of flowers or gifts that a donation be made in her name to the “VPC Organ Restoration Fund.” A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd followed by a reception at Valley Presbyterian Church, located at 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ  85253, (480) 991-6424.

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