Yvette Christine Shields, a well-respected reporter, beloved friend and wonderful mother, died suddenly this week. She was 57.
Born on March 30, 1966, Yvette was a life-long resident of Chicago and the suburbs. A graduate in journalism from Columbia College, Yvette became a reporter at the storied City News Bureau, where she made lifelong friends and learned how to ask tough questions of those in government.
She was also a freelancer for the Chicago Tribune, and worked as an assistant on a Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods for Harvard University’s School of Public Health. But she was best known as a long-time reporter for The Bond Buyer, a paper covering the municipal finance industry. At The Bond Buyer, she spent 26 years analyzing public finance, and got to know what made big public projects work, or fail. She knew, before the bigger papers did, what a bad deal Chicago had made with the Bears stadium expansion. She knew how to get a finance director or analyst on the phone late at night, and they would take her calls. She was a great reporter – persistent, curious, intelligent and fair. Her personal warmth and charm, integrity, and deep knowledge of municipal finance earned universal respect.
Yvette was a fan of nature, literature and music. She loved visiting the north woods of Wisconsin and Illinois state parks. She loved swimming in Lake Michigan, no matter how cold it was, and in Wisconsin’s Summit Lake. She loved Galena, fish and chips, Bell’s Amber and so many bands. This year alone, she saw Margo Price, Marty Stuart, the Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams, Eleventh Dream Day and more.
Yvette was kind, fun, generous, sarcastic, witty and loving. She had a big smile, and a tremendous laugh. Her house was packed with books, family photos, CDs, pets, and her many hats. She loved life, and left it too soon. She will be profoundly missed.
Yvette is survived by her children Wesley Alwin and Nora Shields, mother Inez Keller, brother Richard John Shields, stepsisters Kelly Fleming and Denise O’Connor, nieces Zash Fleming and Crystal O’Connor, nephew Walter O’Connor, cousin Richard Owens and aunt Christine Owens, and by Scott Alwin, her close friend and Wesley’s father. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to pay for Wesley’s education.
Visitation Tuesday 4-8 PM at Gibbons Family Funeral Home, 5917 W. Irving Park Rd. For info 773-777-3944 or www.GFFH.com