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Obituary: Clyde Edmund DeShields



Clyde Edmund DeShields, 89, long-time resident and businessman of Boca Raton, Florida, entered into eternal rest July 18, 2019. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marjorie Larson DeShields; sons David (Janice) DeShields, Daniel (Maryann) DeShields, Steven (Cynthia) DeShields; daughter, Debbie (Jim) Stine; ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Clyde was born March 20, 1930 to Clyde and Dovie DeShields in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Clyde, from a young age, showed his entrepreneurial spirit: delivering newspapers, raising chickens, racing horses and always looking for ways to get ahead in life. He was a gifted athlete and excelled at both football and track at Fort Lauderdale High, holding several school records for decades. Clyde graduated high school in 1948, receiving college scholarship offers from a myriad of universities to play ball.

Clyde’s commitment to helping his single mother kept him in Ft. Lauderdale and he began to learn the millwork business. In 1952 he married the love of his life, Marjorie Larson. From 1953-1955, Clyde served in the army, spending time in South Carolina, Indiana and Yokohama, Japan. At the close of the Korean War, Clyde was awarded an honorable discharge.  

In 1957, Clyde founded Smith and DeShields, Inc. in Boca Raton. Along with his business partner, Aris Smith (deceased) and later the efforts of his children, Clyde grew a business that withstood the test of time. Clyde was known as a fierce competitor and fair employer.  

In 1979, Clyde and Marge purchased property in Big Sky, Montana and thus began his love of the West. Whether exploring on horseback or by Harley, Clyde created lasting friendships and contributed to the local business and philanthropic communities.

Clyde was an avid fisherman and enjoyed time on the water with his family in the Florida Keys, the rivers of Montana and the inland waters of Alaska.  

A legacy Clyde leaves that few people know of is his commitment to helping single mothers secure Christian and higher education for their children. Since 1976, through their financial generosity, Clyde and Marge have helped countless families elect private Christian education.

Clyde never spoke openly about this gifting, but it was very important to him. This commitment continues today.    

In addition to his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Clyde leaves behind two sisters: Ann Norris of Orlando, Florida, and Jeanne Bass Winston of Jacksonville, Florida, as well as many members of the extended Larson family.  

The funeral service was held on July 27 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Boca Raton, Florida, and a burial followed at the Boca Raton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, scholarship fund, 701 W

Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, Florida 33486; or Eagle Mount; 6901 Goldenstein Lane, Bozeman, Montana, 5971.

Joseph T. O'Connor is the Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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