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Mercedes Paulsen

Mercedes Paulsen, 94, formerly of Harvard, died Thursday, April 26, 2014, at the Bickford House in Peoria.

She was born Mary Mercedes Shields in1920 to Michael and Hannah Shields in Alden Township. Her family moved to Harvard when she was 5 years old where her father started an oil retail business.

In June 1946, she married Lyle F. Paulsen. 

She attended Mundelein College and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in English in 1942. She taught school in Libertyville for a few years after graduation. After she married, she taught at St. Mary School and in Woodstock School District 200.

She and her husband lived on a 400-acre farm in Hartland Township until July 2001. The farm was sold to the McHenry County Conservation District as her husband and she wished.  

She was active in many civic organizations including: the Kishwaukee Valley Garden Club; Woodstock Fine Arts Assoc.; and several book and investment clubs. She served on the McHenry County College Foundation Board from 1993 to 1998. After taking all the French language courses at MCC, she, with her teacher, established an independent French literature study course. Her favorite pastimes were reading and bridge.

She traveled extensively to places such as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and France. One of her favorite places to visit in the world was Ireland, which was the place her grandparents left for America.

Survivors include her three sons, Dr. J. Kevin (Pam) Paulsen M.D., Peoria, James (Kathy) Paulsen, Victoria, Minn., and Tom (Stephanie) Paulsen, Woodstock; four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; two brothers, Joseph Shields and  the Rev. Thomas Shields, S.J.; and a sister, Dorothy Shields. 

Visitation and a memorial Mass will be held at St. Mary Catholic Church. The family requests friends contact Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home at 815-338-1710, for complete details.

Memorials can be made to the Friends of the McHenry County College Foundation, 8900 Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012 or to the Central Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.


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