Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Fire In Me Now, Oct 17, 2013

Perhaps my best years are gone,
but I wouldn't want them back.
Not with the fire in me now.
~Samuel Beckett

Hello family and friends, and greetings to all of you from San Diego where October is bringing warm weather and pleasant days.

Bill Russell, 1908-1997. Tomorrow, October 18, is the birthday of my late uncle Bill Russell, who was married to my aunt Pauline Shepard Russell for 62 years until he died in San Diego in 1997. Uncle Bill was originally from Oklahoma; he married Pauline Shepard in Two Buttes, Colorado in 1935; but he then moved in 1940 to Southern California where he and Pauline raised their family and lived the rest of their lives.

The first picture is an old one and shows Bill and Pauline in San Diego in 1957. During the 1950s and 1960s Bill and Pauline and their children Rex and Beverly were among the larger family of Will and Bura Davis Shepard who were close and would often gather for holiday meals or attend worship together at the El Cajon Blvd. Church of Christ.
Bill and Pauline have two grandchildren alive today: Eric Russell and Shannon Wilk. The second picture shows Eric and his wife Ruthie (top) who live in Nevada (although this picture was taken while on a Hawaiian vacation). The bottom half of the picture shows Shannon and her daughter Emma, who live in Kansas.

Happy Birthday Kori Boyd. Tomorrow is also the birthday of Kori Boyd of Coronado, California, one of the great granddaughters of Will and Bura Davis Shepard, and the daughter of Darren Boyd. She is a student at Coronado High School. Happy Birthday to Kori!

Vicki Gower Johnston's 80th Birthday! And finally, tomorrow is the 80th birthday of my aunt Vicki Gower Johnston, who lives with her husband Duke Johnston in Oak Harbor, Washington. Vicki is the younger daughter of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower. She has the unique distinction of being the only one in our family who was born in Okemah, Oklahoma. 

Leroy and Nola and their family lived in Okemah (about an hour's drive east of Oklahoma City) for 17 years, from 1925 to 1942. It was something of an extended sojourn on their way from Arkansas, where they were both born, to San Diego, where they settled for the rest of their life together. 

Vicki spent the first 9 years of her life in Oklahoma, then lived in San Diego for many years. For almost 40 years now she has lived on Whidby Island in Northwest Washington. She is having serious struggles these days with health issues related to aging. Our prayers and best wishes are with her, her daughter Paula who is her primary care giver, and all her family.

The third picture, taken in Anacortes, Washington in 1995, shows Vicki's mother Nola Shannon Gower on the left, then Vicki, then her older daughter Paula Tuzzolino, and on the right, Vicki's granddaughter Heather Cotton.
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Steve Shepard

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