Friday, June 05, 2009

Shepard Family Update, June 5, 2009

Nothing we do changes the past
-- everything we do changes the future.
(Anacortes High School '09 Class Motto)
Hello Shepard Family and Friends!

Greetings to all of you as June (yes, June!) arrives and our view to this summer becomes clearer. If it is true that, "nothing we do changes the past," why should we be so concerned about history, in particular our family history? For me the answer is this: even though we cannot change the past, the past can change us. In the best possible way. That is the hope and promise of remembering and learning from those who have gone before us.

Happy Birthday Emma Wilk. Tomorrow is the 4th birthday of little Emma Beverly Jean Wilk. Emma is the daughter of Shannon Wilk of Atchison, Kansas, and is one of the select group of 8 GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. See a picture of Emma and her mother. Happy Birthday, Emma!

Emma is part of the 4th generation of descendants of Will and Bura, which ranges from Lyndsey Aquiningoc (18 years old) to Damian Ortiz (2 years old). The previous generation of direct descendants numbers 20, so this generation, which presently numbers 8, is just getting started.

As you might expect, the descendants of Will and Bura have just about doubled in each new generation, the numbers being 2 - 4 - 12 - 20 - 8. When it is all said and done, this newest generation of 8 individuals should eventually reach a total of at least 40 descendants, perhaps even more. I may not be around when the final tally for this generation is made sometime around 2040, so someone else will need to be keeping score by then! ;-)

It is the nature of families that with each succeeding generation the branches of the family tree cast a wider scope. One couple, Will and Bura, were the husband and wife who were the genesis of this particular part of the larger family to which we belong. The first generation of their descendants were their four children, siblings of each other, a rather modest beginning for the early 20th century. The 2nd generation (to which I belong) are Will and Bura's 12 grandchildren, all of whom are either siblings or first cousins. The 3rd generation (Will and Bura's 20 Ggrandchildren) are either siblings, first cousins, or second cousins. The 4th and newest generation (Will and Bura's 8 GGgrandchildren) are either siblings, first cousins, second cousins, or third cousins. Some of those in this newest generation are quite removed from each other, and may not ever meet, but they all still share Will and Bura as their GGgrand- parents and will always have that in common.

Beryl Swinney. Next Thursday is the 86th anniversary of the birthday of Beryl Swinney Shepard. Originally from East Texas, Beryl was serving in the military in World War II when she met Elmer Shepard. They married after the war and settled in San Diego where they lived for over 30 years and raised their two children. She and Elmer then retired to East Texas, which is where she died 15 years ago. The first picture I am including, taken in the 1970s in San Diego, shows Beryl with her husband Elmer and their children Joan and Dane Shepard.

Congratulations to the OTHER Steve Shepard. Today Steven Paul Shepard of Anacortes, Washington, graduates from Anacortes High School. Steve is the 13th Ggrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. His family, including parents Russ and Pam, Grandmother Maida, and aunt Barbara, are all -- choose one of the following... -- elated / relieved / tickled pink / exhausted / very proud. (Maybe they are all of those things!)

Congratu- lations, Steve, on all your hard work and dedication. We wish you well as you figure out where your life will go from here! If any of you have words of wisdom for Steve, he will be among those attending the family reunion July 18 in Oklahoma.

This second picture shows graduate Steve Shepard in cap and gown in front of his High School and next to the school bell. Thanks to aunt Barbara for this picture.

If you need help finding where our family reunion July 18 will be, let Google show you the exact location of the Newcastle (Oklahoma) Community Center. The reunion will be from noon till 5 pm.
Steve Shepard (the older one)

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