Barbara Zak Shields

On June 11, 2011 at the Hospice Inn at St Peter’s Hospital, Barbara Zak Shields, age 48, of Ballston Spa, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family, passed on to her eternal life after a year-long battle with leukemia. She was the cherished wife of Joseph Shields for fifteen years. She was born on October 1, 1962 at Troy, NY to Mary Lourdes (Kane) Zak and Eugene D. Zak of Queensbury, NY.

Raised in North Greenbush, Barbara was educated at St Jude’s Elementary and Columbia High Schools, Hudson Valley Community College and Siena College. Early in her professional life, she became involved in Workman’s Compensation cases as a hearing representative at Special Funds. In 2006, she joined the Triad Group in Troy as their Legal Coordinator. Those subsequent years working with Victoria Manes and the Group were very special to her.

To know Barb was to love her. She had a vibrant personality, a sense of humor, a compassionate nature with a heart full of love. The shining lights of her life were her husband, Joe, and their three beautiful children: Megan 13, Emily 10 and Matthew 8. She was a caring mother to her stepson Joseph (Nikki) Shields and grandmother to Aubrey and Lana.

In her youth, Barb spent summers at Schroon Lake and Joe was raised in Schroon Village. As a result, they shared with their children their love of the Adirondack’s, spending many summer vacations at the “Lake” with their dog Bella.

On Barb’s journey this past year, she was supported by Joe, the children, her relatives and countless others. She traveled that journey with great perseverance, faith and finally, acceptance. She will always be an inspiration to us all.

Besides her husband, children and parents, she is survived by her devoted and loving siblings: Douglas
(Cynthia) Zak, David Zak, Kathleen (Joseph) Reis, Paul (Carissa) Zak and Jeffrey (Stephanie) Zak. She was a loving aunt to Allison, Gregory, Christopher, Jessica, Michelle, Gina, Amanda, Madison, Catie Rose, Louie and Nikki. Barb is also survived by her aunt Lucille Grattan, uncle John Kane, brother-in-law Raymond Shields, sisters-in-law Patricia Misha and Marilyn Bove.

She was predeceased by her infant brother, Andrew, her grandparents, John and Regina Kane, Alexander and Eva Zak, her mother and father-in-law, Violet and Raymond Shields and sister-in-law, Joan Martin

The family wishes to express their appreciation for the excellent care given to Barb by Dr. Harry Dunn and Dr. Alan Rauch of NY Oncology Hematology. To the nurses and staff at D4E at Albany Medical Center, you will be in our prayers of thanksgiving for the tender loving care you gave Barb. To the caregivers at both Albany Medical Center and the Hospice Inn at St Peter’s Hospital, the family extends heartfelt gratitude.

To all those who provided prayers and support for Barbara from the time of her first diagnosis to her final hours “God Bless you always “.

Funeral services will be held 9:30am Thursday, June 16, at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, where a mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Burial will follow in St Peter’s Cemetery, Saratoga Springs. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Wednesday from 5-8pm at Armer Funeral Home, Inc 39 East High Street, Ballston Spa.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to The Shields Childrens’ Education Trust c/o Key Bank 154 Quaker Road Queensbury, NY 12804 or any convenient Key Bank Branch.

Guest Book

Mary Jo Fletcher

So sorry to hear of Barb's passing. What a wonderful mom and friend. Really enjoyed living next door to the Shields family. My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe, Megan, Emily and Matt.

Gayle McCormack and Wynette Hughes from AMCH D4E night shift

We were very saddened to hear about Barb's passing. She was someone that really lived every day to the fullest. While I know that words are only a small gesture of support, we want you to know that her spirit has touched many people's lives as it has ours. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you again for sharing her with us, she will truely be missed.

Mary Ellen (Quinlivan) Gibbons

My thoughts and prayers go to Barb's entire family. She had a wonderful passion for life and she left us all a great example of how to share love and laughter. God bless.

Ami Rivera

You were an inspiration to me and as we used to refer to each other "quasi-sister". You made such a huge impact on my life in the five short years I have known you. You are incredibly missed but, I find comfort knowing you are no longer suffering and in pain. I will be eternally grateful for having you in my life. Rest in Eternal Peace
Joe, Megan, Emily and Matthew
I am truly sorry for your loss and will continue to pray for the strength to get through this be given to you.

Love Always,
Ami Rivera