Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892-1980), January 27, 2013

Blood cannot be denied,
and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw,
because we cannot -- being only human --
put asunder what God has joined together.”
~Whitney Otto

Hello Family and Friends,

Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892 - 1980)On this date in 1892 Sadie Shepard was born, the sister and only sibling of my grand father William Shepard. Like her brother, she was born in Alton, Illinois, a small Mississippi river town near Saint Louis, Missouri. When just a child, her family moved from Illinois to Beaver County, in the panhandle of Oklahoma. There Sadie married Levy Pruett, raised their family of three girls, and lived the rest of her life. She and husband Levy are buried in Sophia Cemetery in Beaver County.

The first picture shows Sadie with the first two of their three daughters, Gayle and Alberta. This picture looks to have been taken in Beaver County, Oklahoma at the wedding of her brother William Shepard to Bura Davis in 1915, when Sadie was 23 and her daughters were just 2 and 4 years old.

The second picture shows daughters Gayle and Alberta Pruett around 1930 when they made a stop somewhere in the American Southwest to have their picture taken with some native Americans. Posing with tourists to make a dollar or two didn't do much for the image of native Americans, but it was a very common activity in early 20th century America. (Thanks to my cousin Dane Shepard for sending me this amusing picture.)

Sadie's brother William Shepard moved his family to California in 1940. Sadie would sometimes visit her brother and family in San Diego, just as William and his family were fond of returning to Oklahoma for visits in the 1940s and 1950s. I have a couple of old pictures that were taken during those visits and have included them in previous blog posts here and here.

The third picture, taken in June, 1942, shows my grand parents Bura and William Shepard on the right when they returned from San Diego to Oklahoma to visit Sadie and her husband Levy. In the lower right is Thelma Shepard Boyd, William and Bura's youngest child, who was 6 years old at the time.

An Historic Court Case. While searching the internet recently I found a fascinating reference to Sadie and her brother William Shepard in an historic Oklahoma court case. After Sadie and William's father died in 1915, their mother Elvira Owens Shepard married a man named Cal Williams. After Elvira died in 1931 a question arose over who should inherit Elvira's estate, her children or her 2nd husband.

My father, Elvira's grandson, was an impressionable 15 year old when this case was settled. I remember him telling me years later about some disagreement over his grandmother's property that led to some hard feelings that lingered for many decades. But I never knew until this week that it was an actual court case that was heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and was settled in 1937. 

The summary of this case is interesting to me because it includes the will of my great grandfather William Elmer Shepard (Sadie and William's father) who died in 1915. Among the stipulations in his will, he leaves his farm machinery to his son William, and two steer calves to his daughter Sadie. 

What was really in question, however, was the property that Elvira had owned, and who should inherit it. It was eventually decided that her 2nd husband should get it, and not her children Sadie and William. You can read details of this interesting and historic court case here
- - -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Children Teach Us, January 21, 2013

While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from San Diego, where it seems winter has passed and spring has arrived with temperatures in the mid 70s. Plans are being made for a family reunion this summer in Western Washington. At this point the thinking is that the first weekend in July, or the first weekend in August are the best possibilities. If you have a preference, or would like to weigh in on another possibility, please let me know. We need to set the date soon so plans can be made.

Happy Birthday to Dane and Nathan! Today is the birthday of Dane Shepard of New Castle, Oklahoma, and his son Nathan Ross Shepard, who were both born on the same day (several years apart, of course!). The first picture shows Nathan at Christmas last year. The second picture is an oldie from a family gathering in 1973 and shows Dane (on the right) with his cousin Darrell Shepard on the left.

Dane: This is Nathan's senior year and we have been involved in college applications and financial issues. For his first year, he will be attending Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL. He continues to be involved in advanced and stage band as a percussionist. He is competing in bowling tournaments now as well. He will attend the local JC for a class and finish up his home schooling courses this spring. He works about 20 hours a week at Chic-Fil-A. He will turn 17 on Monday. He enjoys all his activities, including church, and we are already missing him as we anticipate next fall.

2012 was a very challenging year with the passing of both my dad and a very dear friend and business partner, R. J. Stevens. It seems that I have not been exempt from health challenges as well. I have been using alternative health practitioners to get to the sources of the problem. I will be out of town for our birthday working with a church in Texas regarding congregational song worship. Cindy will "hold the fort" while I'm gone. I appreciate her support and patience in managing so many things including helping her mother. All in all, we have been blessed and are thankful for friends and family. 

We look forward to the possibility of seeing Jeff, Kim, Terry, Thelma and the family this June in MO. Thanks for keeping all of us in touch. Gratefully, Dane.

Happy Anniversary Havilah and Kevin! This Wednesday, January 23, is the 3rd wedding anniversary of Kevin and Havilah Colgain Wardle of Honolulu, Hawaii. Havilah's mother is Joan Shepard and her grandfather was Elmer Shepard who passed away just last year.

Havilah: After three big years we are closer than ever, we are stronger together, and we are going for our dreams together. It's amazing to be partners with someone who is so full of love and life. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Hawaii. It's the best thing we could have ever done. 

Next week we will be moving to Victoria Texas, for the next exciting step in our life! We celebrated our anniversary, a few days early, by going out on a whale watching cruise with our dive buddies. Mom was here for Christmas, and we had a blast. Got to take her diving, and exploring the island. We have another scuba addict in the family! Will keep you posted on our adventures =-)

Best wishes to Havilah and Kevin, especially as they move from "Paradise" to Texas.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Monday, January 14, 2013

Can't Give Up On Family, January 14, 2013

My dear young cousin,
if there's one thing I've learned over the eons,
it's that you can't give up on your family,
no matter how tempting they make it. 
~Rick Riordan

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you, wherever you may be. Cindy and I are visiting our friends George and Diane in Tucson, Arizona, which -- as it turns out -- is a great place to spend part of January.

Happy Birthday Eric! Today is the birthday of Eric Russell, son of the late Rex Russell, and the first born of the 21 Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard. Eric and his wife Ruthie (see first picture) live in Red Rock, Nevada (which is obviously not where this picture of them was taken).

Ruthie wrote to say: Happy New Year to you! Eric is going to turn 48 on Monday, January 14. "Happy Birthday, Honey!" 2012 was a good year for us, but we're looking forward to 2013. No big plans, maybe not all work and a little bit of fun. This picture was taken in Hawaii this past August. Thanks for thinking of us. Best Wishes!

Happy Anniversary Jeff and Kim! This Friday, January 18, is the 6th wedding anniversary of Jeff and Kim Boyd Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri who were married in 2007. The first picture shows Jeff and Kim in November of last year.

Kim: This picture was taken on my birthday. We have plans to leave for 4 days but I don't know if it will happen. The twins Isaac and Dominic are in the hospital with RSV and we are taking care of the other kids. We will at least try to squeeze in a quiet dinner for 2 and pray that everyone will be feeling good soon.

My dad has been sick from receiving chemotherapy. Tomorrow he finds out if his tumor is shrinking. I sure hope so. We need a break from health care issues and to just feel good.

I am really excited to be a great aunt and want to see that sweet little Carsyn Renee. It is strange to see such light hair in our family again. There is a good picture of Carsyn on Facebook if you would like to send out her picture.

More About Carsyn. Taking great aunt Kim's suggestion, I snatched a picture of her new niece Carsyn off Facebook and am including it here. I asked mom Courtney Boyd if she would mind if I sent out the baby's picture.

Courtney: "Of course, thank you! She was born January 5 and weighed in at 8 lbs 5.3 oz and 21 inches long. Her full name is Carsyn Renee Slaughter. We live in Alpine currently; me, my boyfriend Cody (her dad), and baby. We are all doing well, Carsyn sleeps a lot. We love her. Thanks again!"
- - -
Steve Shepard

Monday, January 07, 2013

Family Who Make Us Complete, January 7, 2013

Family and friends are what make us 
who we are today, 
and without them 
we would never be complete.

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from Dorrington in Northern California where Cindy and I have been enjoying a post-holiday weekend with family from all over the west coast -- San Diego, San Francisco, and Western Washington. The first picture shows the 11 of us who spent this past snowy weekend together.

From left to right in the picture above, on the back row are me, my sister Barbara, brother Russ, grandson Logan, wife Cindy and son Nate Shepard; in front are grandson William, daughter-in-law Chenda, mother Maida, granddaughter Preslea, and brother Gary Shepard (with his companion Dexter). Nathan, Chenda and their children live in Alameda, California; Maida and her children Barb, Russ and Gary live in Western Washington.

Happy birthday today to my wife Cindy Harris Shepard, who appears in the upper right of the picture above. She was born in the San Joaquin Valley in Visalia, California but was raised in San Diego. After being away for many years she and I live in San Diego once again. The second picture shows Cindy with her mom Paula Harris in a picture that was taken at Christmas at Paula's San Diego home on Burgundy Street.

Congratulations to Darren Boyd, who became a grandfather recently. His daughter Courtney gave birth in San Diego on Saturday to a beautiful baby girl named Carsyn. She is the newest of the 15 GGgrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard. Best wishes to Courtney and the entire family, including Ggrandparents Terry and Thelma Shepard Boyd!

This Thursday, Jan 10, is the birthday of Mary Medina Shepard the wife of my brother Darrell who lives in Kirkland, Washington. They are the parents of Christopher, Rachel and Patrick and are set to become grandparents for this first time this summer.

The third picture shows Mary in the center with her daughter Rachel on the right, and Chris' girl friend Jessica on the left. Best wishes and happy birthday to Mary!

Are there plans yet for family reunions in 2013? If you know of any plans I would appreciate hearing about it and passing the word in this blog.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year! January 1, 2013

Write it on your heart
that every day
is the best day of the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hello Family and Friends,

"Happy New Year!" to all of you from bright and sunny San Diego on this first day of 2013.

Congratulations to my brother Darrell and his wife Mary Medina Shepard, who celebrated 30 years of marriage yesterday! They were married on the last day of 1982 in Abilene, Texas where they both went to college. They live today in Kirkland, Washington. They have three children, Chris, Rachel and Patrick, who also live in the Seattle area. Darrell and Mary will become grandparents this year for the first time thanks to son Patrick and his wife Nicole.

Speaking of new birth, this past year has been very productive for our families. Among the notable births this year were Isaac and Dominic Ortiz (see first picture), the twins of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of Blue Springs, Mo. Isaac and Dominic were born in the spring of last year. 2012 also brought a new grandchild to Jerry Clark, and the arrival of Nathan and Chenda Shepard's third and final offspring, William.

Happy Birthday Chenda! Speaking of Chenda Shepard, today happens to be her birthday. She was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 33 years ago. She lives today in Alameda, California with husband Nathan and their children. It has been 3 1/2 years now since she came to the U.S. from Southeast Asia. Chenda spends most of her time these days hard at work being a wife and the mother of their 3 children, all under the age of 3. The second picture shows Chenda while she and her family were enjoying a visit to Sea World in San Diego last week. 

A Fortuitous Ring Tale. This past year I was reminded of the unexpected importance of this blog. Just last month Havilah Wardle, the daughter of my cousin Joan Shepard, and Havilah's husband Kevin, were the recipients of an incredible discovery.

Havilah and Kevin enjoy scuba diving in Hawaii where they live (see their picture HERE). Back in the fall they were diving in the waters of Shark's Cove off Oahu. (Why anyone would even BE in the water in a place called Shark's Cove is beyond me.) While in the water Kevin's wedding ring slipped off his finger and disappeared. He had been wearing it since they were married in early 2010.

Some two months after their diving adventure, while composing a family post for my blog I noticed a message that had been left for me online at The Shepard's Crook. A woman named Monette was trying to find a couple named Kevin and Havilah and wanted my help. 

"Yeah, right", I thought to myself. "This is someone trying to get my email address. Or worse, the email of friends." I nearly trashed the message without a second thought. But there was something about Monette's claim that gave me pause. She said she had found a ring with Kevin's name on it while scuba diving. Hesitantly I decided to pass the info on to Havilah and Kevin. Since I was divulging no personal info, what did I, or the Wardles, have to lose?

As it turned out Monette had indeed found Kevin's wedding ring and wanted to return it. But she had no way of getting in touch with them. She did not even have their last name. So she googled "Havilah and Kevin" and The Shepard's Crook popped up on her screen with my blog post regarding them. After the pertinent information was passed, the lost ring, incredibly enough, made its way back to Kevin.

It is not a Tolkien ring story, to be sure, but a fortuitous ring tale none the less. And one that will be remembered by the happy couple later this month when they celebrate 3 years.

May your life be filled with remarkable discoveries in 2013!
- - -
Steve Shepard