Friday, April 25, 2008

Shepard Family Update, April 25, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello Shepard family and friends! Cindy and I are on our way to beautiful Asilomar State Park, near Monterey, California, where we will spend the weekend. We are attending the Annual Meeting of the Christian Church of Northern California. The ocean views are fantastic and the accommodations are very comfortable in this crown jewel of the California State Park system.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? This weekend is a time to remember some important people in our Shepard family who have passed away. This Sunday, April 27, we remember Beverly Russell Wilk, who was born on that day 69 years ago. Beverly, the younger child of Bill and Pauline (Shepard) Russell, died at the age of 35 in San Diego. Bev was a very upbeat, caring person, who shared her mother's love of life and deep appreciation for her family. Her daughter is Shannon Wilk, and her granddaughter is Emma Beverly Jean Wilk.

This coming Monday, April 28, we remember Eugene Shepard, who was born on that date 87 years ago. He died 5 years ago this summer in Anacortes. Monday is also the day to remember Nola Gower (Maida Shepard's mother) who was born on that date 106 years ago, and died just 4 years ago in Anacortes.

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures. (Click on the picture to see a larger view.) The first is a picture of Eugene Shepard and his niece Beverly Russell. This picture was taken in the early 1950s (can anyone pinpoint the exact year?) in San Diego on the back steps of the El Cajon Blvd Church of Christ where the Russells and the Shepards attended church regularly. How Dad ended up holding a purse, I do not know. He must have given the camera to mom to take the picture, and she gave him her purse to hold. Perhaps Mom can confirm that?

The other is a picture taken in 1994 of 5 generations of family members -- from left to right: Lyndsey Aquiningoc, her mother Kerri Aquiningoc, Kerri's father Gary Shepard, Gary's mom Maida Shepard, and Maida's mom Nola Gower. This picture was taken in front of the Gower home on Lynne St in San Diego. Nola's longevity (she lived to be 102) was something her entire family took pride in.

Remember: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. Among the things we will do at the reunion is laugh and reminisce about loved ones we miss, who are gone but whose presence lingers still. Remembering them is one of the important things that binds us together as family.

I have recently added my nephew Jason Shepard to our email list. Jason is Gary's son and Maida's oldest grandson. He emailed me recently and said,

Uncle Steve... It has been a really long time. I'm living in Fort Worth, TX. I have been here for almost 8 years... wow!! I do like living here. It's definitely not San Diego! The summers here are just a little warmer. I work as a sales rep. for Pepsi Cola, I've been with them for 5yrs. I have enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures you have sent out.
As the years pass it seems we get more and more spread out and separated from one another. It is great to have opportunities like this to reconnect. Welcome, Jason, to this online community where we can affirm our life as family!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shepard Family Update, April 18, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello from Lone Pine, California in the beautiful Owens Valley of Eastern California, a forgotten part of the state which many people have never heard of. We are "on the road again", on our way to visit friends in Tucson, Arizona.

Our family reunion is now only three months away. Can you believe it? Have you made your plans? I know that some of you will not be able to make it, but if you are able to come, please do so. Cindy and Nathan and I are looking forward to it. Be sure to let one of the Anacortes folks know when you will be flying in, so we can coordinate the trips between Anacortes and SeaTac.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? is a remarkable resource for those interested in family history. Recently we have subscribed to it and have found more information about relatives of ours that I ever thought possible. They offer a 2 week free membership which, among other things, offers you the opportunity to view OUR Shepard family tree that we have recently put online. Check it out. Our family tree is titled "EShepard." If you do visit, be sure and check your own information to make sure that all is correct AND to add whatever needs to be added. (If you are receiving the emails, you are listed on

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures. The first is a 1973 picture of Gram and Grandad and their four children: Eugene, Thelma, Pauline, and Elmer. Grandad (1888-1976), being a product of an earlier generation, was not very comfortable in front of a camera, as this picture shows. But those of us who were fortunate to have had him for a grandfather remember him as a fun loving man, and a great teller of stories from his own life, which stretched back into the late 19th century. On more than one occasion I can remember Gram having to chide him for rough housing too much with his grandkids on the living room floor.

One of my oldest memories is of the two of us, for my 7th birthday, going to see "Lady and the Tramp" at the Spreckles Theatre in San Diego. Gram stayed at my folks' home in Point Loma, promising to have tacos ready for my birthday dinner when we got home. ("Lady and the Tramp" was first released in 1955, which -- if my 59 year old memory cells can still be trusted -- is the year this happened.)

Do others of you have fond memories of Gram and Grandad? I invite you to write them down and send them to me. It would be a great way of letting others in the family know what terrific people these two were.

The other picture was taken last month in Oklahoma. It is of Dane, Joan and Elmer Shepard, along with Thelma Boyd, her daughter Kim Clark, and Kim's daughter Amanda Ortiz. They were all together in connection with getting Elmer's house in Texas ready to sell.

Dane emailed from Oklahoma last week and said,

"Joan returned to CA after spending two weeks, mostly in Henderson, TX. She was able to pack and move the things she wanted and ship them back home. We will be making more trips to check on the place as it is up for sale.

"On the weekend of March 21-24, Thelma, Kim and, Amanda joined us for a great visit (pictures attached). We enjoyed catching up. They left to take Amanda back with Kim where she will now be living. Also Kim said they planned to see Shannon at some time on the trip. Thelma was to fly back after a few days. It was encouraging to be with them and my Cindy really had a great time catching up on my history (now she knows why I act the way I do!).

"Dad was with us physically but not too much emotionally. He's been having a hard time with depression. He is now showing some signs of improving and is able to enjoy getting out for visits and going to church. Cards and letters help and would be appreciated. You can write directly to him at: Mustang Manor, 1017 W. Highway 152, Room 121, Mustang, OK 73061. It would be great to join the reunion, but Dad would not be able to go.

"I appreciate your family report. I have been encouraged to renew old friendships. I recently contacted Michael Bohannan after many years."

Thanks to Dane for that update. Remember to let me know of any others who would like to receive these messages. I will be glad to add them to our emailing list.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Shepard Family Update, April 11, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Greetings from our home in Dorrington, California, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. Dorrington is a quiet little mountain town, so small that the closest traffic light is a half hour drive down the hill. The lightest dusting of snow fell this last week as the last vestiges of winter.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? The part of our Shepard family that originates with Gram and Grandad (Will and Bura Shepard) has 4 living generations of people.

The first generation is made up of Gram and Grandad's 4 children and their spouses. The living members of that generation are Elmer Shepard and Thelma Boyd, along with Thelma's husband Terry, and Eugene's wife Maida.

The second generation is Will and Bura's grandchildren. The oldest and youngest of the 10 living people in that generation are Rex Russell and Darren Boyd. (Add spouses and you get at least 17 people in this generation.)

The oldest and youngest of the 20 people (at least 24 when you add spouses) in the third generation are Eric Russell and Kaylan Shepard.

And the oldest and youngest of the 7 young people in the fourth generation (no spouses here, yet!) are Lyndsey Aquiningoc and Damian Ortiz. There may be more than 7 members in this fourth generation, belonging to Eric Russell. Do any of you know about them?

Family Faces. Whenever our family has taken pictures of itself over the years, one interest has been in showing as many generations in one picture as possible. The first picture I am sending is an example of this. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.) Taken in Anacortes, it shows four generations: Gram (Bura Shepard), her son Eugene Shepard, his son Darrell Shepard, and his son Christopher Shepard. Christopher, born in 1984, was just a few months old at the time. The picture was taken just 2 years before Gram died at 90 years old. She lived the last several years of her life in Anacortes with son Eugene and Maida.

The other is a picture taken recently by Patrick Shepard, who writes:
This is a picture of my sister Rachel, and our mom Mary that I took in Anacortes, Washington on Christmas Day, 2007. Rachel will be 21 this month and she is doing very well. She works as a Community Relations Director for a rising Senior Living Company in Seattle and really enjoys it. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with our family. We are a very close family these days. We all still live together in Bothell, Washington and three of us work in the same company together.
Rachel's Birthday is this coming Monday. She has arrived at the magic age of 21! Best wishes and Happy Birthday to her. View a slide presentation celebrating her birthday!

Remember: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. Darrell and Mary and their family plan to be there. We hope you will be there too.


[P.S.... If you know of other family members or friends who would like to receive these emails, please ask them to send me an email at -- 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.]

Friday, April 04, 2008

Shepard Family Update, April 4

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello from San Francisco, where Cindy and I just celebrated our son Nathan's birthday with him yesterday. We don't feel old enough to have a son who is 31, but we are. And just think... Maida has 4 grandchildren in their 30s: Nathan, Kelly, Jason and Kerri. No wait... Maida has 4 grandchildren who are AT LEAST in their 30s. One just turned 40 last month.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? 3 members of our Shepard family ARE great grandparents, while 7 young members of our family HAVE great grandparents. Lyndsay & Mandy Aquiningoc, and Kyle & Nate Sauvage -- all of Weatherford, Texas -- are great grandchildren of Maida Shepard of Anacortes,Washington. While Ciara, Ashlyn and Damian Ortiz of El Cajon are all great grandchildren of Terry and Thelma Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico.

Family Faces. I am sending two family pictures. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.) The first one is a picture of Linda, Gary and Steven Shepard, children of Maida and Eugene, in front of their home on Ulric St in San Diego in 1951. Linda's baby stroller belongs in the Smithsonian! Gary was ready to start Kindergarten at Kit Carson Elementary in Linda Vista at the time. And my guess is that the newpapers on the front porch were not to be recycled, but to be thrown away. Why the big smiles on us boys, but not on Linda? 26 year old Maida was probably making goofy faces as she stood behind the "Brownie", which only served to tickle Gary and me, while hardly fazing Linda, who as a child usually offered this stoic look.
The other is a picture of soccer players Kori Lynn Boyd (Darren and Vicki's daughter) and Ciara Ortiz, taken last fall in the San Diego area. Happy Birthday TODAY to little Ciara! Parents Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz, Grandmother Kim Clark, and Great Grandparents Thelma and Terry Boyd must be very proud.

Comparing these two family pictures, you can see that photography has changed tremendously in the last 57 years, but the joy of children and the meaning they give to our lives has not changed a bit.

Remember: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. A new and updated invitation by US Mail has recently been sent out. If you did not get one, be sure and let us know your physical address and we will send you one. Thanks to Barbara for sending out the invitations.

Do any of you have some interesting family facts that you would like to share in one of these family emails? Let me know, I'd be glad to include them. If you have a family picture you'd like to share, let me know that as well.
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