Friday, January 27, 2012

Other Shepard Kin, January 27, 2012

I don't know who my grandfather was;
I am much more concerned to know

what his grandson will be.

~Abraham Lincoln

Hello Family and Friends,

Today is the 120th anniversary of the birthday of my great aunt Sadie Shepard Pruett who was born January 27, 1892. She was born in Alton, Illinois just like her older brother and only sibling (my grandfather) William Shepard, who was 4 years her senior. She and William were just teens when their parents left Illinois and settled in Beaver County, Oklahoma in the first decade of the 20th century. Interestingly, also like her brother William, she died within days of her 88th birthday. Sadie died in 1980, William in 1976.

The late 19th century was a time when large families were common. A family from that time period with just two children is an interesting anomaly. My grandmother Bura Davis, for example, (born 1896) was one of 7 children. My grandmother Nola Shannon (born 1902) was one of 9 children. And my grandfather Leroy Gower (born 1899) was one of 7 children. It was unusual then for Sadie Shepard to be one of only 2 children, she and her brother William.

Like most of our ancestors, William's parents William Elmer Shepard and Elvira Owens were country folk for whom one more child meant one more worker on the family farm. But every couple is different, with unique physical and emotional needs and limitations.

To be fair, there seems to have been two other siblings of William and Sadie Shepard who died in infancy: a boy they named Elmer and a girl they named Eva. Losing a child can be a devastating experience, but losing two children can make a couple hesitant to have any more.

Sadie later married Levy Pruett and had 3 daughters, Alberta, Gayle and Twila. The first picture I am including shows Sadie at 23 years old with her first two daughters Gayle and Alberta. This lovely picture was taken in June, 1915 when her brother William Shepard and his fiance Bura Davis were married.

The second picture shows my grandfather William Shepard (bottom right) with his wife Bura Davis next to him. At the bottom left is his sister Sadie whose husband Levy Pruett is in the middle of the top row. Also in the picture are two Pruett daughters, Gayle (bottom row) and Twila (upper right), and Gayle's husband Glenn Barker (upper left). As you can see on the far right, this picture was taken in 1946 in Tijuana when the Pruett family came to San Diego to visit the Shepards.

Sad to say, I have not had much contact with the descendants of Sadie Shepard Pruett. 20 years ago when my dad and I visited Oklahoma we visited his aunt Sadie's daughter Alberta Pruett Getz and her husband Pat, but I have not maintained contact with them over the years.

I did have a phone conversation earlier this week with Alberta's son Norman Getz, who still lives near Elmwood in Beaver County, Ok. He mentioned that his parents Alberta and Pat are now gone, and that few members of the Pruett family remain.

Sadie and William Shepard's mother Elvira Owens was from the Owens family of Madison County, Illlinois. I recently connected online with a 3rd cousin, Richard Olen Young II, who is also descended from that same Owens family and lives today in Maine. I look forward to that connection and learning more about family members of today and of long ago.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

From Utah to Missouri, January 23, 2012

None of us can boast
about the morality of our ancestors.
The record does not show
that Adam and Eve were ever married.
~Edward W. Howe

Hello Family and Friends,

Happy Anniversary today to Havilah Colgain Wardle and her husband Kevin, who live in West Valley City, Utah.

Havilah: Thank you so much for thinking of us on our anniversary! We are heading up to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho to celebrate. Can't wait to soak in the mineral hot springs and relax! Kevin and I experienced rough times this past year trying to start a family, but have finally found a caring doctor who is proactive and eager to help us. Come what may, we are enjoying a beautiful relationship and life together. We are preparing our house for the market; once it sells we are off to a warmer and more tropical climate! We're excited to see our dreams come to fruition, and even more so for all the unexpected, but equally wonderful surprises life brings.

Havilah is one of the Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard, and the daughter of Joan Shepard of Dixon, California and Art Colgain. Her grandfather Elmer Shepard is the senior member of our Shepard clan.

Blue Springs Update. Speaking of descen- dants of Will and Bura Shepard, I have an update on Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of Blue Springs, Missouri. I mentioned in my last post that Desiree, who is pregnant with twins, was in the hospital. The latest news is that she is now home and doing much better, as are the twin babies that she and husband Jeremy are expecting in June. When the twins are born, they will be the 12th and 13th GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard.

Grandma Kim Boyd Clark reports on Desiree: She came home Friday night. She still feels bad but not depressed as she was in the hospital and can smile a little now. The babies are doing good. She has seen them a lot, being in the hospital doing sonograms. They are very active. She is starting to be able to eat a little bit. She goes back to the Dr Thursday and a nurse will come to our house once a week to check on her. She is still on a pic line for food.

Our best wishes are extended to Desiree and Jeremy and their whole family. The second picture was taken last summer and shows, from left to right, Kim Boyd Clark, Amanda Ortiz, Desiree Ortiz and Damian Ortiz.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Milestones, January 18, 2012

We owe it to our ancestors
to preserve entire those rights
they have delivered to our care.
We owe it to our posterity
not to suffer their dearest inheritance
to be destroyed. 
~Junius (1769)

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you, wherever you may be, from San Diego on this fine winter's day in Southern California.

Missouri Anniversary. Congratulations to Jeff and Kim Boyd Clark who are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary today! Jeff and Kim live in Blue Springs, Missouri, with Kim's son Jeremy Ortiz, his wife Desiree and their 3 children. The recent good news from their household is that Desiree and Jeremy are expecting twins in June. More recently, however, Desiree has developed some health problems.

Kim: This is anniversary #5 for Jeff and me. We still have a full house and we just seem to stay busy with all the activity going on here. We will probably just go to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. 

Desiree is still in the hospital unable to keep any thing down. She has what they call a false brain tumor due to extra hormones caused by twins. Dr is hoping when she has the babies the tumor will go away on it's own. The babies are still doing good with strong heart beats and are very active. They did a sonogram and she could see them facing each other touching their feet together. We still don't know when she can come home so I'm being grammy and mom right now. Jeremy has been staying at the hospital and sleeping there.

Our prayers and best wishes to them all, especially Desiree and Jeremy, while we celebrate with Jeff and Kim on their wedding anniversary!

Oklahoma Birthdays. Happy Birthday wishes this Saturday to both my cousin Dane and his son Nathan Shepard of New Castle, Oklahoma, who were both born on January 21.

Dane: Thanks for the greeting and request. I am attaching a picture that we recently took. 

As it turns out, we will be going to Texas again on our birthdays. I will be participating in an annual gospel singing and the family has been invited as well. It will be a nice break for us. Nathan will turn sixteen and will be taking an English course at the local junior college this semester. He remains active in bowling and band. We got him a drum set for Christmas which he thoroughly enjoys. 

Dad [Elmer] is about the same. They are still adjusting his meds to try and stabilize his agitation. He does better when he is not around a lot of people. His appetite remains good. Thanks again for all your work.

Flashback 38. The third picture that I am including today is an old Shepard family photo taken Christmas 1973, somewhere in the San Diego area. It includes a couple of the people pictured above. It shows Dane Shepard (upper left), Kim Boyd and infant Kelly Shepard (on the leopard skin bean bag chair), and Jason Shepard with his uncle Darrell Shepard on the right. Anyone recognize the home where this picture was taken?
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th, January 13, 2012

An account of one's descent from an ancestor
who did not particularly care to trace his own.
-Ambrose Bierce

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from San Diego, California on what appears (so far) to be a wonderful Friday the 13th. There will be no paraskevidekatriaphobia here.

Happy Birthday tomorrow to Eric Russell, who lives with his wife Ruthie in Red Rock, Nevada, outside Reno.

Eric, born in San Diego in 1965, is
  • the first (and only) child of Rex and Ellen Russell,
  • the first of the 3 grandchildren of Bill and Pauline Shepard Russell,
  • the first of the 21 Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard,
  • the first of over 100 GGgrandchildren of James Brooks and Callie Spear Davis,
  • and probably the first of the several hundred GGGgrandchildren of Charles and Malinda Wright Davis.
I added the word "probably" in the above sentence because that gets us to the level of 4th cousins, and includes such a large number of descendants that I do not know who they all are, much less who is the first born among them all. But I'll bet it's Eric!

Eric's wife Ruthie wrote me recently: We are doing fine. Hope all is well with you and yours. The weather has been beautiful here in Reno. Should feel guilty, but we don't. We had so much snow and rain last winter that we are loving this mild weather. I am sure it will change soon. Nothing new to report except that Eric will be a year older on Sat. the 14th.

I'm embarrassed to say that [the picture of us] was taken in 2005. Eric is a little thinner and a lot less hair now, but aside of that he looks the same. We are approaching our 19th wedding anniversary this year. Thanks for thinking of us. Best Wishes!

Thanks to Ruthie for sending me the two pictures above. The first one shows Eric when he was a youngster back in 1966. The second picture (referred to in the previous paragraph) shows Eric and Ruthie just a few years ago. The third picture shows a proud and happy Bura Davis Shepard with her first Ggrandchild Eric in 1966.

Special Note Regarding Email Addresses. On a few occasions recently I have had some of you request the email address of a family member. I want to remind you that the emails I send out do not normally show the email addresses of every one on my mailing list. But I am always glad to share an email address with any family member who requests one from me.
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Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Year Birthdays, January 7, 2012

Until the 12th of Never,
I'll still be loving you.

~sung by Johnny Mathis

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from cold but sunny Flagstaff, Arizona, near the Grand Canyon, where Cindy and I are spending the week with friends George and Diane Andrews of Tucson, Arizona.

Happy Birthday to my wife Cindy who celebrates her happy day today, January 7!

The first birthday gift I ever gave Cindy was on her 18th birthday, as her friends gathered at the Harris home on Burgundy Street in San Diego. Most of her friends were youth from her family's church, the Allied Gardens Church of Christ. I was her new friend from a church across town, having met her just a few weeks earlier, and was something of an outsider.

My gift to her at that party was a couple of LPs by the popular singers "Peter, Paul and Mary", and Johnny Mathis. If you even recognize those names, you can guess at how long ago that was! "Peter, Paul and Mary" were the singing social conscience of the 1960s, and Johnny Mathis was a young crooner whose love songs we all adored. "LPs", by the way, were "Long Playing" records, known these days simply as "vinyl", and were the media of choice for recording music, back in the days before iPods, CDs, or even cassette tapes.

Cindy and I are not sure whatever became of those LPs I gave her 46 years ago today. They may still be in a dusty box somewhere in granny Harris's house which is still on Burgundy Street. Or they may have simply gone the way of most LPs - into the trash bin. After all, besides a few die-hard lovers of vinyl (like our son Nathan), who even has a record player these days? One thing I do know is that even though the particular media is not popular, the music itself endures. And thankfully so. Hence my gift to Cindy this year of an iTunes gift card for the music of those same singers, that she can play on her new tablet computer.

Cindy spends her time these days enjoying the retired life in San Diego where we live (not far from Burgundy Street). And traveling to wherever we can find time to travel, including far off, exotic places like Flagstaff, Arizona (okay, maybe not so exotic). She also makes time for the loves of her life, her two grandchildren Preslea and Logan, children of Nathan and Chenda Shepard.

The first picture shows Cindy with our grandson Logan. The second picture shows our granddaughter Preslea with her father Nathan riding the Carousel at Belmont Park in San Diego. Happy Birthday to Cindy!

Happy Birthday Mary! Birthday wishes also go to Mary Medina Shepard this coming Tuesday, January 10. Mary and her husband Darrell live in Kirkland, Washington not far from their kids Christopher, Rachel and Patrick (and soon to be daughter-in-law Nicole). The third picture I am including shows Mary with her husband Darrell. Also sneaking into the corner of the picture is our brother Gary Shepard. This picture was taken last summer at the Shepard family reunion in Anacortes, Washington.

In addition to birthday greetings, congratulations to Darrell and Mary on their 29th wedding anniversary which they celebrated just last Saturday on New Year's Eve.

More New Babies! In my last post I mentioned some babies that would be born in 2012 in our family. I also asked if anyone knew of other expectant mothers. Jerry Clark wrote to tell me that his daughter and business partner Susan Clark Cox will also give birth this coming June to a new baby (Jerry's 6th grandchild!). Congratulations to Susan and Andrew Cox of Lubbock, Texas on this happy news.
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