Friday, January 16, 2009

Shepard Family Update, January 16, 2009

There is no doubt that it is around
the family and the home
that all the greatest virtues,
the most dominating virtues of human society,
are created, strengthened, and maintained.

~Winston Churchill

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

It is good to be back home in San Diego, here in the "dead of winter" (yesterday it was about 80!). We had a wonderful time on our latest trip to Southeast Asia. The highlight was the opportunity to meet Nathan's fiance, Chenda, and to spend some time with both of them, seeing the sights of Cambodia. Chenda is a special young woman, very bright, speaks surprisingly good English, and has a great sense of humor. If you are interested you can see some pictures of our trip to Cambodia and Thailand by selecting this link.
You have not heard from me the last two weeks by email, but I did post two updates to this blog while I was away. If you did not read the posts the last two weeks, you can still read them and see the family pictures here.

This coming Wednesday, Jan 21, is Dane Shepard's birthday. Dane lives outside Oklahoma City with his wife Cindy, and their two children Nathan and Kaylan. Dane, the 6th of Will and Bura's 12 grandchildren, was born and raised in the San Diego area and lived most of his life in Southern California until moving to Oklahoma in 2006.

In an email not long ago Dane told me, "I retired from teaching 32 years in CA and am semi-retired here in Oklahoma, helping homeschool Nathan and Kaylan while working on hymnal and congregational song worship projects. We built a home and moved in last April [2007] but still have a few things to complete. We moved here because Cindy's parents and two sisters live here. Of course, I'm nearer Dad as well."

We are grateful that Dane has accepted the task of hosting our family reunion this coming summer, which will be on Saturday, July 18, 2009, in Oklahoma. I hope you will all make your plans to be with us as we gather to celebrate the family that we are. As the date draws near Dane will give us more details of the reunion.

The first picture I am including was taken about 1960, and shows Dane at the piano, where he spent endless hours as a youngster. And it paid off since he is now an accomplished musician, having taught music in public schools for many years. He still teaches music through workshops in church settings and has been working on converting a church hymnal, which he co-edited, into a paperless edition.
In the picture with Dane is his cousin Linda Shepard at the piano next to him (playing a piece for 4 hands?). Behind him is his aunt Pauline Russell and his uncle Eugene Shepard. In the back stand I. Also partly visible in the picture are Ellen Russell and Beryl Shepard. The setting seems to have been a small piano recital at Beryl and Elmer's home, just for our family.
Happy Birthday, Dane, and many happy returns of the day!

The second photo is a Christmas picture from this past December of James and Kelly Sauvage and their two sons Kyle (4) and Nate (6), of Weatherford, Texas. Kelly is Gary Shepard's younger daughter. Kyle and Nate are 2 of the 7 great great grandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. Kelly works in the Career and Technology department of the Weatherford School District, and James works for a Cable Company near Weatherford.
Our sympathies and best wishes go out to Kim Clark and her family on the death of the mother of her late husband Gabe Ortiz. Gabe's mother died in Gallup, New Mexico a few days after Christmas.
Both of the pictures in this post bring to mind a timeless truth that is as important now as it was in 1960 -- or 1860, for that matter. It is the truth spoken best by Winston Churchill: "around the family and the home the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened, and maintained."

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