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 Mary Shields (Lenzenhuber)    May 24,1927-September 8,2012
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

An old Irish verse
St John's Academy in Rensselear, New York Class of 1945 My mother's favorite Irish Verse (And a favorite of her Shields family, hollow was preferred over palm) St Peter's Hospital School of Nursing in Albany, New York  Class of 1948
Mary Shields was born May 24th 1927 the last of six children of Martin J Shields and Josephine (Moran). Shortly after her birth her mother was committed to a Mental Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. When she was five her older sister Dot whom had been caring for her, got married. Her father put her into St. Johns ("The Mount") in Rensselaer, a boarding school/orphanage. She graduated from St Johns Academy in  in 1945 and St Peter's School of Nursing in 1948. She married Joseph Lenzenhuber on May 6th 1950 and was the mother of 3 children. Louis (1951), MaryAnn (1954) and Susan (1961). Mary died at home on September 8, 2012 after many years pained by emphysema, severe osteoporosis and finally lung cancer
At the foot of Eagle St late 1920s Nursing School graduate picture 1948
Mary used to go to movies and weekly serials at the Eagle Theater on Hudson Avenue in Albany. (The Eagle opened in 1938) Her sister Helen would meet her there with their Grandma Moran (Mary Ann Kerwin). Mary lived at the Mount in Rennselear while Helen lived with Mary Ann on 2nd avenue by the trolley tracks. The trolley man would stop at Mary Ann's house and pick Mary Ann up or let her off and let her cross in front of the trolley before proceeding (Mary Ann usually slept at the movies) . As a child Mary won a tap dance completion at the Eagle. She always loved dancing and my parents would often go out dancing on Saturday nights when I was young. She was also known to have danced on tables now and then. Mary never learned how to ride a bicycle, never having one as a child.
May 6, 1950   Ludwig & Gertrude Lenzenhuber (parents of the groom) Joseph & Mary Lenzenhuber Helen Moran, James  Shields and Sally Moran (family of the bride)
Lou, Mary. Joseph Lenzenhuber 2008 Mary, Jackie, Joe Lenzenhuber 2009
Raised by Nuns in an Orphanage/Boarding School. Educated in nursing at a Catholic Nursing School, a firm believer in Rosaries to the Virgin Mary
     My mother was a prolific reader and was usually in her chair in the living room reading a book while others were watching the TV. She wore glasses from an early age. She claimed her eyes went bad from reading in bed from the street gas lights outside her boarding school window.
      Mom liked to sew. She eventually converted the 2nd downstairs bedroom into a sewing room. She would make dresses for the girls from patterns. When I was in Jr. High the rage was pegged pants. She would rip out the seams on new jeans and peg them for me. I was glad when that fashion went away. I had skinny legs and enjoyed the bell bottom period more. I shared her passion for maps, extra sharp cheddar cheese and breads. Mom liked shoes, not to Marcos level but she had dozens of pairs. Some hanging on the inside of her bedroom closet door, on closet shelves and in boxes in the closet. She especially liked her high heels at one time. Being about 5'2" at most, they made her a little taller. After she retired from nursing she donated her time to helping seniors in Delmar.

"If it weren't for us stupid people, you smart people wouldn't look so smart"      My mother wasn't stupid she had an IQ in the mid to upper 120s
"Jack of all trades, master of some"      correcting "my master of none"
"Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back to life again" My mother was curious, my father wasn't. His parents were just the opposite.
"God helps those who help themselves, but god help those who get caught helping themselves"

My mother liked crossword puzzles. When I would visit from California I had to track down the commix section of the Albany Times Union in the morning because she would have it to do the puzzle. She also did puzzle books to help keep her mind sharp.

My mother never learned to ride a bicycle. I never saw her golf with my father although she claimed to like to watch golf on the television. I used to play golf with my father starting out at about 12 playing out of his bag at Albany Muni. Latter my sister MaryAnn would play golf with him. I would still play now and then when I was back from California for a visit. I remember playing in Florida while we were visiting my Grandmother around 1991. I wouldn't let him near the clubhouse before we started because his shirt didn't have a collar. I had to buy a shirt while golfing with Mike in Aruba because they wouldn't let me on with a tee-shirt even though it had a pocket and the one I had to buy didn't. (collars are the important things to golf snobs, golf shoes didn't matter)

She liked Piece Bronson in his Remington Steele role. Angela Landsbury in Murder She Wrote. Robert Goulet, Perry Como and Andy Williams as singers. Both her and her sister Helen would occasionally mention the history of the jack boot of the English on the Irish throat but they both liked English TV and movies.

When she told her husband she was dying, he laid down in bed with her and decided he was going to die with her and refused to eat. They had promised each other they would die together. He finally realized it wasn't going to happen and moved onto the couch in the living room. He would constantly ask about her as she would about him but he couldn't bring himself to look at her in the condition she was in and she couldn't get out of bed to check on him. She weighted about sixty pounds. While I was there I finally talked him into going in and see her. It made her day. "Guess who came to see me today?" While she was dying two roses bloomed in their backyard, which were affectionately named by the caregivers "The Mary and Joe roses"

At 01:30 on 09/08/12 I told my mother it was time to go and that we would look after dad. She feebly acknowledged by faintly squeezing my hand. I found her dead at 06:00
Dad didn't make it a year without her, she was his light and he was lost without her. (He died of a broken heart at 86)

All my life my mother was 29. When I was about 40 I told her that it was an embarrassment having a mother so young. She told me too bad she was 29. She was still 29 when her frail 60lb body failed her at 85. Her mind was still sharp, it was her body that failed.
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