Saturday, June 25, 2011

An All Star and His Mom, June 25, 2011

When one goes back to look
at the house of their childhood,
it has always shrunk.
~Mark Twain

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from warm and sunny San Diego. Cindy and I are leaving later today for a month away from home, so my postings may not be as regular as they have been, especially for the next two weeks when we will be out of the country. But I will be back with news and comments about family past and present.

Happy Birthday Kyle! Tomorrow, June 26, is the 7th birthday of Kyle Christian Sauvage, son of Kelly and James of Weatherford, Texas. Kyle is the grandson of Gary Shepard and the Ggrandson of Maida Gower Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. The first picture, taken this spring, shows All Star Baseball player Kyle. The second picture (below) shows Kyle with his mom Kelly Shepard Sauvage.

Kelly: Kyle is doing great, going to summer school/summer camp every day. He is having a blast. I love hearing about how much fun they had. Kyle made the All Star team in baseball again this year, one of the top picks in the league. He loves to play any position but is an awesome first baseman. His favorite player is Adrian Gonzalez… even though he no longer plays for the Padres. Kyle is still a die-hard Padres and Chargers fan! He played basketball this past winter for the first time... the highlight was hitting two buzzer shots! In the Spring he played Coach Pitch 1 (on the Padres!) hitting a grand slam on his last at bat of the season. He didn't stop smiling for days!  Kyle is a natural athlete and will be great at whatever sport he chooses. My family says he gets that from them. I say he gets it from me! 
August Family Reunion. The time for our August 13 Shepard Family Reunion is drawing closer all the time. Gary and Cindy Shepard, who are graciously providing for the food, need to know the number of people attending. So if you have not already done so, please notify me, or one of the Anacortes family members if you plan to attend. We look forward to a wonderful gathering with friends and family from far and near. As in previous years we will have a photo table at the reunion where you are encouraged to bring old or new family pictures to share.

Louise Gower, 1909-2011. I just received word that my mother's aunt, Louise Pennington Gower, died earlier this month at the age of 101 in Oklahoma City. The sister-in-law of my grandfather Leroy Gower, aunt Louise was a remarkable woman who reached the century mark in 2009 with great energy and love of life. She was the last living member of that generation within the Gower family. Our best wishes go out to her daughter Jimmie Lou Scherf and her entire family in this time of loss.

Can You Help Locate Old Family Photos? I'd like to remind all the readers of this blog once again that I am searching for original pictures (or good copies) of old family photos. In particular, a recent history of the Davis family contains an old picture of Jane Buskirk Davis. Do any of you readers of this blog know where the original of that picture resides? I would be glad to work with the owner of that photo, or any other old family photos, to get good quality digital copies made. This would be a wonderful way to assure that generations to come will have access to pictures of family members from long ago. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
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August 13, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day! June 19, 2011

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right,
he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
~Charles Wadsworth

Hello Family and Friends,

Happy Father's Day to all the dads among us, and to each of us as we honor fathers and grandfathers who have meant so much to us throughout our lives.

The first collection of pictures shows four men who were very important in my life. From left to right are my father Eugene Shepard (1921-2003), my paternal grandfather William Shepard (1888-1976), my maternal grandfather Leroy Gower (1899-1974), and my father-in-law Joe Harris (1922-1999). All of them are men who made a great impact on my life. 

Happy Anniversary! Tuesday is not just the first day of summer. It is also the second wedding anniversary of our son and daughter-in-law Nathan and Chenda Shepard. Their wedding two years ago on Father's Day was a beautiful, private ceremony on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The white surf provided the background music as it swept gently into the Point Loma tide pools twenty feet below us. Only later did we realize it was actually something of a "rogue wedding". To be official, we were suppose to have made a reservation and paid a fee to use the spot, but in our blissful ignorance the knot was tied nonetheless. Congratulations to Nathan and Chenda!

Nathan, not coincidentally, is also the father among us with the youngest child, his son Logan Shepard who was born just last month. Click here for a photo presentation showing Nathan, Logan, Preslea and other fathers and children of our larger family.

Speaking of June anniversaries, congratulations to Desiree and Jeremy Ortiz (see picture) who celebrated 9 years of marriage on June 1. Jeremy is the older son of Kim Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri where Jeremy, Desiree and their 3 children now live.

This coming Thursday is the 23rd anniversary of Vicki and Darren Boyd of Lakeside, California. Congratulations to them! It is a big week for Vicki with her birthday coming on Wednesday.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Glad To Be A Grad, June 13, 2011

Graduation is a process that goes on 
until the last day of your life.
~Arie Pencovici

Hello Family and Friends,

Glad to be a Grad. This coming Wednesday, June 15, Linda Shepard of Anacortes, Washington graduates from Anacortes High School. She is the youngest of the grandchildren of Maida Gower Shepard and the last one among them to graduate. She is the younger child of Russ and Pam Shepard of Anacortes. 

Congratulations to Linda and all those who helped her reach this milestone! Linda plans to spend some time in California this summer before getting on with whatever life holds for her this fall.

Happy Birthday Scott. Today is the 26th birthday of Scott Ortiz of San Diego. Scott is the second son of Kim Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri and the late Gabe Ortiz. He is also a grandson of Terry and Thelma (Shepard) Boyd.

Kim: "Scott is living in El Cajon [outside San Diego]. He is very busy working full time for Neal Electric in Poway and also with a new business venture started earlier this year. He and a couple of friends opened a kick boxing gym in El Cajon called Arsenal MMA. He just returned from an annual trip to La Paz, Baja California with a group of friends where they were snorkling and fishing for a week."

The second picture shows Scott and his nephew Damian Ortiz at Scott's kick boxing gym in El Cajon.

Celebrating Arrival Day. Two years ago today our son Nathan's fiance Chenda Sou flew into LAX from Cambodia and began her new life here in the U.S.

It has been a very eventful, rewarding, emotional and productive 24 months. One hard working husband, two beautiful children, and many wonderful experiences later, she is adjusting well to this American life. Those of us who know and love her are glad she is. Chenda, Nathan and their children live in Alameda, California.

The third picture shows Chenda with newborn son Logan on the left and daughter Preslea on the right.

Can You Help Locate Old Family Photos? I am looking for original pictures (or good copies) of old family photos. In a new history of the Davis family there is an old picture of Jane Buskirk Davis. Do any of you readers of this blog know where the original of that picture resides? I would be glad to work with the owner of Jane's photo, or any other old family photos, to get good quality digital copies made. This would be a wonderful way to assure that generations to come will have access to old family photos. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Two months from TODAY:

Monday, June 06, 2011

Smiles and Sunshine, June 6, 2011

The measure of a woman's character
is not what she gets from her ancestors,
but what she leaves her descendants.
(author unknown)

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from warm and sunny San Diego. Belated Anniversary wishes to Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz who have recently moved to Blue Springs, Missouri from the San Diego area. Last Wednesday Jeremy and Desiree celebrated 9 years of marriage.

Today is the 6th birthday of Emma Beverly Jean Wilk of Atchison, Kansas. She is the daughter of Shannon Wilk, and one of the GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard. The first picture shows a smiling Emma at a recent birthday party of a family friend.

Shannon emailed me recently: "We are doing GREAT! Emma's last day of school was May 26th, and she was very excited. Until I told her she won't be going back until August. She was a bit upset. But she will be going to the daycare she went to since she was a year old. They do lots of fun stuff. Lots of field trips, and they get to go to the pool.

"I have been working tons! We are on mandatory over-time right now. I work at Fargo Assembly of PA. I build the wire harnesses for Harley Davidson. HD and John Deere are the biggest names we build for. I worked for them about 13 years ago, so when I went back I knew what I was getting into. It's not real hard work, but Harley is very strict on how they want the harnesses to look. The overtime is great on the checks but poor Emma has to get up at 5am so I can get her to day care.

"Other than all that we are well, waiting for all the storms to pass and get on with the hot summer weather! At work we are collecting a bunch of stuff to send down to Joplin. They were hit so bad. The one thing you just have to deal with here is the crazy weather. Take care. Smiles and Sunshine. ...Shannon and Emma."

Margaret Frances Williams. Last Saturday, June 4, was the 166th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Frances Williams, the GGGGgrandmother of Emma Wilk. Maggie Williams, who married William Spear, was the grandmother of Emma's Ggrandmother Bura Davis Shepard. The second picture shows Maggie Williams in a photo from about 1880.

Maggie's grandparents were originally from Fairfax, Virginia on the East Coast, but they migrated to Kentucky and then on to Spencer in Owen County, Indiana in the early 19th century. That's where Maggie was born and lived her whole life. Her offspring, in the early 20th century, migrated to the panhandle of Oklahoma and then on to Colorado and eventually San Diego on the West Coast. Emma's mom Shannon then "bounced back" to Atchison, Kansas, in the middle of the county, where Emma was born, and where they live today. (How's that for 250+ years of family history in a nutshell?)

Here then is a 10 generation lineage for Emma Wilk, tracing her family line back 266 years, through Margaret Frances Williams to William Williams of Fairfax, Virginia.
  • William Williams (1745-1801), whose son was
  • John Williams (1782-1813), whose son was
  • John Pouty Williams (1806-1898), whose daughter was
  • Margaret Frances Williams (1845-1904), whose daughter was
  • Caroline Matilda Spear (1865-1951), whose daughter was
  • Bura Emerald Davis (1896-1986) whose daughter was
  • Pauline Shepard (1916-2000), whose daughter was
  • Beverly Jean Russell (1939-1974), whose daughter is
  • Shannon Wilk (b. 1973), whose daughter is
  • Emma Beverly Jean Wilk (b. June 6, 2005).
Happy Birthday to Emma! And best wishes to her and her mom Shannon.
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Memories and Celebrations, June 2, 2011

Every one is a quotation from all their ancestors.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you wherever you may be. Happy Anniversary today to my brother Gary and his wife Cindy Dillon Shepard of Oak Harbor Washington, who were married in 1979 at our home in Los Alamitos, California.

Gary: "It sure doesn't seem like its been 32 years already. I can remember that day in your backyard when 2 year old Nathan was running around with a camera case pretending to take pictures. We all have been through a lot since then, both good and unpleasant, but that's what makes us strong.

"We will be spending our anniversary at the lake. We will spend the whole week there. It's calling for rain for most of the week. Oh well, that's why we live here in the Evergreen State. 

"The family reunion will be fun. We are setting up 'The BBQ Joint' to cater it. They have good food. Looking forward to seeing everyone there. Would be nice if people from far away could come. Congrats on another grand baby. Don't they know what's causing that? LOL. Oh well, may they have as many as they want. That's a blessing from uncle Gary."
Best wishes to Gary and Cindy for a great anniversary. Select this link for all the details of the Aug 13 Family Reunion. If you are planning to attend please notify one of the Shepards in Anacortes, so plans can be made. 

James Brooks Davis. On this day in 1870, my Ggrandfather James Brooks Davis was born in Spencer, Indiana. The second picture shows James, who, at 33 years old, was already the father of the 7 children he had with wife Callie Spear Davis. This picture is from early 1908. Their youngest child, Marjorie, is in his lap. Their daughter Winona is on the left.

Will and Bura's Anniversary. Another anniversary on this day belongs to Bura Davis and William Shepard. Bura, the firstborn of James and Callie, married William in 1915 in Beaver County, Oklahoma on this, her father's birthday. The third picture (below) shows Will and Bura celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, June 2, 1975 in San Diego.

The aforementioned ancestors -- James Brooks Davis, Callie Spear Davis, their daughter Bura and their other 6 children -- were all born in Indiana, which is where many of our Shepard, Davis, Williams and Spear kinfolk lived through much of the 19th century. Many of them migrated to Oklahoma in the early 20th century and then some of them moved on to California later in the 20th century.

A Genealogical Journey. Cindy and I plan to visit Indiana next month to learn more about our Davis and Shepard ancestors. I have some intriguing leads on information about the family of my GGgrandfather, Civil War soldier William Shepard. Up to this point I have known almost nothing about his wife or parents or other relatives, other than his son William Elmer Shepard. I am excited about the possibilities of discovering our Shepard roots in the early 19th century.

On our trip we plan to visit some Civil War battlefields where William Shepard fought, one of which may have been where he was injured, leading to his death in 1862. We will then visit his grave in Evansville, Indiana. We will also make our way to the area around Spencer, Indiana where many of our ancestors were born. This is also the area where many of them are buried, as you might expect, in various cemeteries around Owen County. I look forward to sharing in this blog the results of our genealogical trip.
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