Friday, June 27, 2008

Shepard Family Update, June 27, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello to all of you, wherever you may be. In California, Washington, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Texas, New Mexico or Oklahoma - whew!

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? William Shepard and Bura Davis were married in Beaver County, Oklahoma, 93 years ago this month. The fact that they chose to get married on her father's 45th birthday suggests something of the warmth and close bond that the family shared.

Little did Will and Bura know at the time that the two of them would be the progenitors of a family that, over the next hundred years, would include over 82 people! (One family birth or one marriage every year or so since they were married!) Even less could they have known that their descendants would live in a world where communication can occur across thousands of miles almost instantaneously by this wonderful thing called email. But what they did know is that their love of God and one another -- a love that they gladly shared with their children and grandchildren -- was a powerful bond that gave meaning and purpose to their lives. And for that we can all be thankful to God and remember them with immense appreciation and humility.

Speaking of email, one of my purposes in sending the weekly messages is to share family pictures with all of you. Not just so that you can enjoy them, but so that you can save them and share them with others. Every family photograph any of us has will continue to deteriorate, but the quality of digital images will never deteriorate. They will be the same or better when our grand children's grand children (and beyond) view them. So please feel free to save all the pictures I send onto your own computer. If you don't know how to save the pictures, ask one of the young people in your midst -- they probably do!

If you have other old or new family photos to share with the rest of us, please send them my way. Share the wealth! It is a great way to celebrate the family we are, to keep the memories alive, and to leave something valuable for those family members yet to be born.

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures. The first is a picture of Gram and Grandad on their wedding day in Beaver County Oklahoma in 1915, next to a picture of them at their 60th anniversary celebration in San Diego in 1975. They only celebrated one more anniversary together, since Grandad passed away in 1976. Gram died 10 years later and lived her last years with Maida and Gene Shepard in Anacortes, Washington.

The other is a picture of "the Yaya's" on their latest adventure. It was taken just last week at the Bandelier Indian ruins, a national monument in New Mexico. Pictured, left to right, are Cindy Shepard, Paula Harris, Barbara Shepard and Maida Shepard. Not pictured is Jane Clark who was planning to attend but had to cancel out at the last minute. Her father fell and was hospitalized with a broken hip (thankfully, he is out of the hospital now), AND her third grandchild was (and still is!) expected at any time. Our prayers and best wishes go out to Jane and her family. During the Yaya trip, we had a wonderful visit with Terry and Thelma Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico.

Just a few weeks away: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. Cindy and Nathan and I are looking forward to it very much. We hope you are too! If you will be UNABLE to attend, send a note or an email that can be read when we gather, so that we can hear how you and your loved ones are doing.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Shepard Family Update, June 20, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello on this day before the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. Cindy and I are in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Yayas, a group of women in our family who gather each year some place around the country (see the blog entry, dated May 2 for more about them). What am I doing in this august group, you ask? Depends on who you talk to. Some say I am the "yo-yo" of the group (but don't listen to them!). Others consider me "homeland security" (spoken in a serious tone).

I mentioned in last week's email that this summer I will not have quite as much time to do these messages each week. However, I DO plan to continue them on a weekly basis at least until the family reunion. That was my commitment originally. If you would like to receive them after that, please let me know. I find it valuable for us to communicate this way, even if not EVERY week. So let me know what you think. And let me know of news in your part of the family that I can share with others.

Fascinating Family Trivia: Did you know? There is a small neighborhood in the eastern part of Calgary, Canada by the name of "Shepard." It was annexed by the city of Calgary in July, 2007. "Shepard Settlement" is a tiny community in the northeastern part of Skaneateles, New York, and got its name from early settlers in the area. "Shepard's Citations" is a list of all the authorities citing a particular legal case. It got its name from Frank Shepard (1848-1900) when he began publishing these lists. Among lawyers, "Shepardizing" is a term referring to the process of consulting Shepard's Citations. (These bits of Shepard trivia came from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.)

I am sure you know of famous people with the last name of Shepard (e.g. Sam Shepard, Alan Shepard, Linda Mae Dawn Shepard) but there is a growing tendency for people to give their children the FIRST name "Shepard." Just a couple of examples are Shepard Smith (a well known TV newscaster on FOX), Shepard Kopp (a big name attorney in Los Angeles), and lesser known Shepard Fairey, a contemporary artist and illistrator. Do you know of others?

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures. The first is an old, old picture of Gram's mother (the young woman on the right) Caroline ("Callie") Spear Davis (1865-1951), and Gram's grandmother, Margaret ("Maggie") Williams Spear (1845-1904). The picture was taken about 1880, probably in Spencer, Indiana (where they both were born). It is the oldest family photo that I have seen. Thanks to Dane for sending me this picture from his dad Elmer's photo collection.

The other picture is of Kim Clark and her three children, Scott, Amanda and Jeremy Ortiz, and Kim's niece Kori Lynn Boyd (in front). Scott's 23rd birthday was last week. (Has anyone EVER seen Jeremy with the bill of his cap in front!?)

Congratulations to Kori's parents Darren and Vicki Boyd whose 20th wedding anniversary is this coming Wednesday! In addition, Happy Birthday to Vicki this Sunday!

Remember: Four weeks from tomorrow - Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. We will gather at the Anacortes Christian Church fellowship hall, 1211 M Ave, Anacortes. A delicious barbeque lunch will be prepared for us as we renew our family ties. We will also have some family picture displays, a large pictorial family tree, possibly some family entertainment, and lots of time for visiting.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Shepard Family Update, June 13, 2008

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello on this beautiful day (at least in our part of the world), as summer approaches and the family reunion draws near. This Sunday is Father's Day -- an opportunity to give thanks and show appreciation for our fathers who mean so much to us, and to lovingly remember those fathers who are no longer with us.

A personal note: I have some good news and some bad news to report. The good news is, I have taken a job for the summer as the Interim Regional Minister for the Disciples of Christ in Northern California and will be employed once again, at least temporarily. The bad news is, I have to go back to work, starting next week! ;-) Actually, I am looking forward to it. But what this means is that I will not have as much time for our other pursuits, such as family visits, these weekly emails, and other activities. Cindy and I WILL attend the family reunion, though we won't be in Washington as long as we'd like.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? Last week I mentioned that our family has a close relationship with the Kilpatrick family. We are also closely related by marriage to the Boyds, Gowers, Russells and Clarks (x2!), to name just a few of the families we are close to by marriage. But with our world the way it is today, our Shepard Family celebrations need to help us appreciate the oneness of God's entire human family. Some churches sing the following hymn (one of my favorites!) that illustrates this.

God Made From One Blood
(by Thomas H. Troeger, 1988; sung to the tune of
"Immortal Invisible God Only Wise" or "How Firm a Foundation")

God made from one blood all the families of earth,
the circles of nurture that raise us from birth,

Companions who join us to work through each stage,

Of childhood and youth and adulthood and age.

We turn to you, God, with our thanks and our tears,

For all of the families we've known through the years,

The intimate networks on whom we depend
Of parents and partners and children and friends.

Through families we've tasted the value of trust

And felt what it means to be loving and just.

Yet families have also betrayed their best goals,

Mistreating their members and bruising their souls.

Help families in all of their various forms

To face with integrity struggles and storms;

Grant peace to our homes that will nurture the bud

Of peace for the families you made from one blood.

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures on this weekend to remember fathers. The first (see above) is a picture from the spring of 1975, and shows the "father" of our family, William Shepard (Grandad), with his wife Bura (Gram), their youngest daughter Thelma, her husband Terry Boyd, and their two children Darren and Kim. (Darren -- 33 years later -- is now the father of 3.)

The other picture shows the oldest father among us, Elmer Shepard, his son Dane and daughter Joan, taken earlier this year at Dane and Cindy's home in Oklahoma City. (See the May 16th post for a picture of Jeremy Ortiz, the youngest father among us.) Happy father's day to Elmer, Dane, Darren, Jeremy and all the dads in our family!

Happy Birthday today, June 13, to Scott Ortiz, Kim Clark's youngest son, who lives in El Cajon, Ca.

Remember: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington.
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Friday, June 06, 2008

Shepard Family Update, June 6

Dear Family members and friends,

Hello on this beautiful June day, from our home in the mountains of California, where the air is fresh, the trees are tall and green, and weather is just about perfect.

Fascinating Family Fact: Did you know? There has been a longstanding connection between our Shepard/Davis family and the Kilpatrick family, going back about a hundred years when the families first settled in Beaver County, Oklahoma.

When the Shepards migrated to Colorado and then to California in 1940, some of the Kilpatricks made the same move westward (and then NORTHwestward), and continued their family friendship. For example, in the 1960s, Edwin Kilpatrick was chosen to serve San Diego's Linda Vista Church of Christ as their minister, partly because of my family's influence in that congregation. And in other ways the families have remained close through the years. In recent years some of our family have attended the Davis-Kilpatrick family reunion that occurs every year or two.

Family Faces. I am including two family pictures. The first is a 1922 picture that illustrates the connection between the Shepards /Davises and the Kilpatricks. Like last week, it is a picture of Gram's father James Brooks Davis. This picture also includes her mother Callie Spear Davis, and their 5 grandchildren at the time. Three of the grandkids are Pauline Shepard (in the back), Elmer Shepard (in the middle), and Eugene Shepard (on the left). The other two are Geneva Kilpatrick (front center) and Bernard Kilpatrick (bottom right). The latter two are children of the two Davis girls who married Kilpatrick boys.

Gram was the oldest of the 7 children of James Brooks Davis and Callie Davis. Two of Gram's sisters married two Kilpatrick boys: Winona married Barney, and Myra married William. (Sisters of one family marrying brothers of another family is rare today, but in those days farming families were large and somewhat isolated. Often the best "marriage opportunities" were the kids in the next farm-family.)

Elmer, one of the children in the picture, recently turned 90. His son Dane emailed me last week regarding their celebration for his dad: "Dad's birthday went well and he said he enjoyed it a lot. I picked him up and we went out with the family for Mexican food. [My wife] Cindy's parents and two sisters with their kids joined us. Dad ate a hearty meal and then the waiters came with a sombrero for him to wear and a sopapilla with whipped cream and strawberries (which he liked), and we sang to him. Sorry, I didn't have my camera for that. We all came over to our place for dessert, cards and gifts. We gave him a digital picture frame and put some old as well as new photos on it, many of which you have sent in your e-mails."

Thanks, Dane for this update and for sending me the old family picture I am sharing!

Kudos to Patrick! The other picture is of Patrick Shepard and his father Darrell. Patrick is yet another of our family members who was born in 1990 and is graduating this spring. Patrick has been in an accelerated program at Inglemoor High School (Kenmore, Wa.) and is actually graduating a year early. He has already begun taking classes at Edmonds Community College and works full time to manage the dining room at a retirement facility in Bothell, Washington, near where his family lives. He plans to carve enough time out of his busy schedule to join us for the family reunion next month.

Also planning to be at the July family reunion is Don Kilpatrick and some of his family from Oregon. Don's brother and sister are the two Kilpatrick children in the old family picture you are seeing this week.

Remember: Shepard Family Reunion, Saturday, July 19, 2008, Anacortes, Washington. We hope you will be there too.