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!

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