Friday, October 30, 2009

Shepard Family Update October 30, 2009

There is nothing funny about Halloween.
This sarcastic festival reflects, rather,
an infernal demand for revenge
by children on the adult world.
~Jean Baudrillard
Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from Anacortes, Washington where I find myself on this rainy weekend of Halloween! I am here to celebrate the birthday of my mother Maida Shepard. This Sunday, on the day after Halloween frighteningly enough, she will turn 85. She is nothing short of a saint in my book, which is only fitting since her birthday each year coincides with All Saints Day.  

Maida Gower was born in Mountain View, Arkansas but grew up in Okemah, Oklahoma before moving to San Diego just in time to finish High School. San Diego is where she met and married the young sailor Eugene Shepard (see the picture on the right). They had been married for 58 years when he died in 2003. She is the senior member of our particular part of the Shepard family, with children, grandchildren, and Ggrandchildren spread out across Washington, California, Texas and elsewhere.

Since this is a special birthday for Maida, I have put together a slide show of pictures of her over the years. Select this link to see the birthday slide show.

Happy Birthday today to Pam (Engan) Shepard, also of Anacortes. Pam is a member of that unique group of women who are daughters-in-law of Maida. Pam has been married to Maida's youngest son Russell Shepard for 23 years. They are the proud parents of Steven and Linda Shepard. The picture on the left shows the two birthday girls for this weekend, Maida and Pam, in a picture that was taken in the summer of 2008.

Happy Halloween! Last week I included a Halloween slide show of costumed family members over the years and invited you to figure out who those people were. Even though no one knew who everyone was, some of you made some good guesses. Here are the identities of the people in the slide show: 1 - Russ Shepard; 2 - Nathan and Cindy Shepard; 3 - Rachel Shepard; 4 - Gary Shepard (1952!); 5 and 6 - Nathan; 7 - Barbara Shepard; 8 - Nathan; 9 - Linda Shepard; 10 - Patrick Shepard; 11 - Nathan; 12 - Bura Shepard; 13 - Cindy and Steve Shepard (1980); 14 - Jeremy Ortiz; 15 - Nathan; 16 - Cindy and Steve Shepard (1971); 17 - Christopher Shepard. The music is "This Is Halloween," from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Congratulations to my sister Barbara who made the best attempt to identify everyone by getting 13 out of 17 correct. She knows her spooks and witches!

Kim Clark emailed me recently regarding the picture of Bura (Davis) Shepard that I included last week. "This brings back a memory for me. Grandmother (Gram) went to my school Halloween carnival dressed in that costume and I didn't recognized her. I forgot all about that until I saw this picture. Thanks for the memory."
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Shepard Family Update October 23, 2009

A grandmother pretends
she doesn't know who you are 
on Halloween.
~Erma Bombeck

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from home in San Diego on a day that is typically pleasant for this month of Halloween.
Mystery Person. In the spirit of the season, the first picture I am including today shows a Halloween picture of a relative of ours in cognito. Do you know the identity of this mystery person? Give it some thought before reading on. (Click on the picture for a larger view.)

Happy Birthday Mandi Aquiningoc! This coming Monday is the 17th birthday of Mandi Aquiningoc of Weatherford, Texas. (In case you are wondering, the mystery person is not Mandi!) Mandi is a senior this year at Weatherford High School, and after graduation hopes to attend Tarleton State University, just down the road in Stephenville, Texas. Among her favorite things is driving (she just got her license), doing hair and make-up ("Mandi's Boutique"), listening to music and hanging out with friends.

Mandi is part of a family cluster of ours that lives in Weatherford and includes: Mandi's mom Kerri, her sister Lyndsey, her uncle Jason and his girlfriend Jenny, her aunt and uncle Kelly and James Sauvage and their 2 boys, as well as her grandmother Jackie and her husband Rick. Mandi's proud grandfather Gary Shepard and his wife Cindy live in Oak Harbor, Washington. Mandi is the 2nd GGgrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard.

The second picture I am including today shows Mandi in the middle, surrounded by her sister Lyndsey on the right, cousin Steven Paul Shepard on the left, and cousins Nate and Kyle Sauvage in front. Everyone in this picture lives in Weatherford, except Steven, who lives in Anacortes, Washington. Thanks to sister Barbara for taking this picture this past summer when they were visiting in Texas.

Back to the mystery person in the first picture: thanks to cousin Dane Shepard for finding and sending this picture to me recently. Do you know who this mystery person is? That's right - it is none other than Bura (Davis) Shepard herself. This picture was taken in Winter Gardens, California (near San Diego) probably in the early 1970s, when she and Grandad were living with their son Elmer and his family. Even though Gram usually carried a serious demeanor, befitting her Midwestern roots, this Halloween get-up shows that she also had a sense of humor!

That mystery person was way too easy for most of you. Select this link to see some more costumed family members over the years. How many can you identify? I doubt there is anyone who can successfully name them all. Whoever is first to email me with the identify of the greatest number of these Halloween revelers will receive a special commendation in an upcoming family update.

If you take some photos of your young (or not-so-young) Halloween celebrants this year, send a copy to me to share with the rest of the family.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Shepard Family Update October 16, 2009

The home is not the one tame place
in a world of adventure;
it is the one wild place 
in a world of rules and set tasks.
- G.K. Chesterton

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings on this beautiful fall day from the mountains of Northern California where Cindy and I are spending a few days. The record setting rains of this past Tuesday are now over, the air is clean and fresh, and there is a beautiful backdrop of tall green pines and cedars.

I am not sure exactly what G.K. Chesterton had in mind in the quote above, but I like the sentiment. It seems to me to point toward something important about the very nature of the best families. I wonder if his family was as wildly busy with activities as many of ours are. Some of our families might affectionately be described as "where the wild things are."

Sunday is the 101st anniversary of the birthday of Willie Davis Russell, who was Bura and Will Shepard's first son-in-law. Uncle Bill -- as many of us knew him -- was the first to marry into the family of Will and Bura when he married their daughter Pauline in 1935. Bill, who had a wonderful sense of humor, was born in Gage, Oklahoma, married Pauline Shepard in Springfield, Colorado, and moved to San Diego in 1940 where they both lived for the rest of their lives. Bill and Pauline both passed away about 10 years ago, but have the following living family members today: their son Rex Russell and their grandson Eric Russell and his wife Ruth of Red Rock, Nevada; and their granddaughter Shannon Wilk and her daughter Emma of Atchison, Kansas.

The first picture shows Bill and Pauline (Shepard) Russell at a family reunion in Anacortes, Washington in 1994. (Click on the picture to see a larger view.) Also in the picture on the front row on the left is my aunt Vicki Johnston of Oak Harbor, Washington (whose birthday also happen to be this Sunday; happy birthday to her!). My dad Eugene Shepard is also on the front row on the right. In the back are Vicki's daughter Paula Tuzzolino, Kerri Aquiningoc (holding daughter Mandi), Nathan and Cindy Shepard, Barbara Shepard, Kelly Sauvage (holding niece Lyndsey) and Pam Shepard (holding daughter Linda).

Sunday is also the birthday of Kori Lynn Boyd, the 19th Ggrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. Thelma and Terry Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico are her grandparents; Darren and Vikki Boyd of Lakeside, California are her parents.

Vikki emailed me recently to say, Kori is doing very well, she is having fun at Hill Creek School in Santee. This picture was taken in our pool which she loves to be in when it is hot. She stays busy with school and LOTS of homework. She is currently playing Volleyball and will be starting basketball in November. Kori is the photographer in the family and loves to take pictures. We take her out whenever we can to take pictures of different things. She seems to have an eye for photography. 

Tomorrow is the birthday of Art Colgain, of Kaysville, Utah, father of Havilah Colgain of West Valley City, Utah. Havilah is the daughter of Joan Shepard and the granddaughter of Elmer Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma. She is also the 8th Ggrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. Happy Birthday to Art!

Last week I sent out an old 1950s picture of Will and Bura Shepard with Bura's sister Winona and husband Barney Kilpatrick. In response I heard from Winona and Barney's daughter Norma Lou (Kilpatrick) Allen of Bolivar, Missouri, who said, Thank you so much for all you do. I just sat here with a silly smile looking at Mother and Daddy (Barney and Winona) on this computer page. That is especially nice of all four of them. We did not ever live in Oklahoma. They were married and lived in Two Buttes, Colorado. We had probably been visiting family in Beaver County, OK. and continued on to California. Our family always had so much fun making those trips. It seemed like we came out every summer for a month. Thanks again. 

May the wildness of your family give you great joy this week. 
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Shepard Family Update, October 9, 2009

At the end of the day, a loving family
should find everything forgivable.
~Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that I have been sending out these family emails and posting them to my family blog (The Shepard's Crook) every Friday for nearly two years now! It has been quite an enjoyable enterprise and very rewarding. The feedback that I have received from many of you is gratifying and I am very thankful for it -- even the occasional corrections that I have received from a special auntie who lets me know whenever I make a mistake. (She is usually right on target, by the way.) But I am sure I would be doing this even if no one was reading it -- that's how much I enjoy it.

I am grateful that the list of readers continues to grow. It includes not only the families of the children of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard -- which is a sizeable group in itself -- but the readership also includes a number of relatives of Will and Bura's siblings and ancestors. The last two years has yielded the pleasant surprise of putting me in touch with some wonderful relatives I had never even heard of before. These are people best described as "kissing cousins" -- second, third, or even fourth cousins who share a common ancestor and have as great a passion as I do for family research.

Even though these emails, and The Shepard's Crook as a family blog have only been around for about 2 years, as a tool for communication it has actually been around for over 10 years. It first began in Paradise.

In 1997 I was the minister of a church in the Northern California town of Paradise, California. My column in the monthly newsletter to the members of that congregation was called The Shepard's Crook. When I moved on to another church in Antioch, California, I carried the name with me, and labeled each regular communique to that group of folks the same thing.

And so it continued as I moved to Stockton and San Diego and Sacramento, until 2005 when I served a church in the California gold rush town of Murphys. In addition to the physical mailings of the regular church newsletter, I also posted my communications to that church family online, in a blog that I also called The Shepard's Crook.

This is why if you look back in the online archives of the blog, you can find some communications specific to that particular congregation, or you might find some sermons, or some other musings that have a different focus than what the blog has today.

Then on the last Friday in 2007, after my service to the Murphys church had ended, The Shepard's Crook evolved into what it is today, a weekly family blog. It now has a very specific focus -- the descendants and ancestors, as well as the family and friends of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard.

And so it continues as a regular communications tool for sharing family news, reporting on the latest family history discoveries, promoting upcoming family reunions, offering old and new family photos (nearly 200 so far!), celebrating this unique family of ours, and simply musing on the subject of family.

FAMILY FACES. Speaking of family photos, above is the first of the two family pictures I am including today. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) Taken in 1951 in San Diego, it shows Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard on the right. On the left is Barney and Winona (Davis) Kilpatrick, Bura's sister and husband, when they came to California from Oklahoma for a family visit.
The second picture was taken this summer in Newcastle, Oklahoma at the family reunion. It shows two of Will and Bura's nephews and their wives. On the left is Arthur Jenkins of Beaver County, Oklahoma (son of Esther Davis Jenkins), with his wife Grace. On the right is Gary Millikan of Tulsa, Oklahoma (son of Marjorie Davis Millikan), with his wife Barbara.

Thanks to each of you for being one of the readers of these paragraphs. Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey you are welcome here. All I ask is that if you know of other family or friends who would be interested in what The Shepard's Crook offers, you will pass the word about it to them. It is very easy to add new names and addresses to the list.

As I have mentioned before, I always welcome your photos, stories, family news or opinions and comments that can be shared with the rest of the family. Ours is a family whose life is worth sharing!
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Friday, October 02, 2009

Shepard Family Update, October 2, 2009

Our most basic instinct
is not for survival but for family. 
Most of us would give our own life 
for the survival of a family member, 
yet we lead our daily life too often 
as if we take our family for granted. 
~Paul Pearshall

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from San Diego. Cindy and I are back from our recent trip and are glad to be home. We ate too much (but never enough Greek salads!), enjoyed ourselves with friends, learned a little more Greek, saw places visited by the Apostle Paul, marveled at some spectacular Mediterranean sunsets, spend part of a day in a foreign emergency room, and took lots of pictures (click here to see some of them).  

Happy Anniversary. This weekend marks the 200th anniversary of the American religious phenomenon known as the Restoration Movement, also called the Stone-Campbell Tradition. It is a great American story (and a continuing story) that deserves recognition. Actually, throughout this entire year of 2009 numerous groups of persons related to the churches of the Restoration Movement have gathered at various times to mark this milestone and celebrate the original ideals of Alexander Campbell and others. I have mentioned in recent weeks that many of our family members have been integrally involved in various congregations of this particular movement for 150 years, particularly in Churches of Christ, but also in the Christian Church. Therefore it seems appropriate to recognize and celebrate this anniversary. So hats off to all those Shepards, Davises, Millikans, Kilpatricks, Boyds, Clarks, Allens, and any others in our circle of family and friends who are members of congregations of this movement. For more information about this anniversary and its celebrations visit

Last week I included an old picture from 1972 in which there was a young boy whom I could not identify. Thanks to Maida and Barbara Shepard (two other people in the picture) for saving the boy from the terrible fate of anonymity. Bart Pruitt is his name, and he is the son of Harvey Pruitt, the President of the school from which Jerry Clark, who was also in the picture, had just graduated.

A Picture of FIRSTS. The second picture I am including this week was taken in San Diego in 1965 and shows Bura (Davis) Shepard in yet one more 4-generation-picture that our family has been fond of over the years. On the upper left is Pauline (Shepard) Russell, Bura and Will Shepard's first born. On the upper right is Rex Russell, Pauline's first born (Bura's first grandchild). The infant is Eric Russell -- Rex's first child, Pauline's first grandchild, and Bura's first great grandchild. Bura was born (as a first born child herself) in 1896, Pauline in 1916, Rex in 1936, and then Eric in 1965.

The corsage on Bura, the table in the back, and the look on her face all suggest that this was a special day for her. On the photo from which this image was taken is stamped, by the developer, the date Feb 1966. That may have been when they got around to developing that roll of film (remember those days?). My guess is that this picture was probably taken at the celebration of Bura and Will's 50th wedding anniversary, which occurred June 3, 1965. At that time Eric was 5 months old and Bura was 68, relatively young to be celebrating such a milestone.

Little did they know at the time that Bura and Will Shepard would eventually have 20 great grandchildren, born over the following 34 years. Both Bura and Pauline have since passed away, Bura 23 years ago last month, and Pauline 9 years ago this month. Rex and Eric Russell both now live in Red Rock, Nevada.
Changes and Transitions. If your email address happens to change, just drop me a line and I will gladly change it on our mailing list. Or if you know of some other family members or friends who might like to be on this mailing list, just let me know. If you need to be taken off this list, send me an email and I can do that as well. Or if you have family pictures or memories or news that you'd like to share, please let me know.
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