Dear Family members and Friends,
I hope that everyone is doing well as we make our way into March. The family reunion on July 19, in Anacortes, Washington is only about 4 months away! A tentative list of those who will attend include: Maida, Barbara, Gary and Cindy, Kerri, Mandy and Lyndsay, Kelly and Nathaniel, Steve and Cindy and Nathan, Russ and Pam, Steven Paul and Linda, Thelma and Kim, Shannon and Emma, Darrell and his family, and Jerry and Cathrina. It will be quite a group. We hope YOU will be there!
Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? Our Shepard family reflects a strong, historical connection to the Churches of Christ? Not all our family members share that affiliation, but many do. At least 6 generations of Church of Christ members can be found within our family. This connection can be traced back through Bura Davis Shepard (1896-1986), whose parents AND paternal grandparents were Church of Christ members. This family affiliation goes back at least 150 years to the mid 1800s, the early years of what is called "the Restoration Movement". That is an American religious movement which actually gave birth to three present-day groups: the Churches of Christ, the Independent Christian Church, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)).
Several years ago when my Dad and I visited the Church of Christ in Spencer, Indiana, we found the 1910 baptismal record for Bura Davis who was born in Spencer and was 14 when baptized. Just 5 years later -- after her family had moved to Beaver County, Oklahoma -- she married William Shepard. The South Flat Church of Christ near Elmwood in Beaver County was the church home for several of our family for many years (and perhaps still is today), and was where my Dad (and possibly his siblings) were baptized. When the family migrated to San Diego in 1940, the El Cajon Blvd Church of Christ became the church home for many of them for several decades.
Family Faces. I am including two family pictures (click on the pictures to enlarge them.). The first is from 1951 and shows Will and Bura Shepard and 5 of their 6 grandchildren at the time. (The only other grandchild was Rex Russell.) In the picture from left to right are: Beverly, Dane (being held by Bev), Gary, Gram holding Linda, and me, in Grandad's shadow. The picture was taken in front of their home not far from the El Cajon Blvd Church of Christ in San Diego. Sundays were often a time for grandparents, parents, and children to be together at church and afterwards. This may have been one such occasion. (I cannot remember any other reason for Grandad to be wearing a tie! Can you?)
The other is a picture of part of the Anacortes clan, taken last summer. It shows Russ and Pam Shepard and their children Linda and Steven. If you compare the pictures it is uncanny how similar are the smiles of Russ and his grandfather William Shepard (the hairlines are striking similar as well!) This second picture was taken on Orcas Island, one of the beautiful vacation spots in the San Juan Islands. Anacortes is the ferry stop known as "The Gateway to the San Juans." If you will be attending the reunion this summer, these islands are a wonderful place to visit.
Happy Birthday this coming week to Russell and Steven Paul Shepard, father and son, both born on March 13 (28 years apart!).
[P.S.... If you know of other family members or friends who would like to receive these messages, please ask them to send me an email at email@example.com -- or give me their email addresses -- and I will include them on the email list. If you have their physical address, please send that to me as well and I will make sure they receive an invitation to the reunion by US Mail. Also, please let me know if you would rather I use a different email address for you, or if you would prefer NOT to receive these emails.]