Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Yesterday's Gone," April 28, 2015

We walked together hand in hand
'Cross miles and miles of golden sand
But now it's over and done
'Cause that was yesterday
and yesterday's gone.
~Chad and Jeremy

Beverly and Eugene. Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of my cousin Beverly Russell Wilk (1939-1974). Had she not died of a brain aneurysm in 1974, she would be 76 years old. Today would have been the 94th birthday of my father Eugene Shepard (1921-2003). He passed away 12 years ago in Anacortes, Washington at 82 years old.

In the early 1940s, when Beverly was a young child, she was the darling of our family. She was just a year old when William and Bura Shepard moved their family to San Diego in 1940. She and her older brother Rex were the only Shepard Grandchildren during that exciting, stressful time of getting adjusted to life in Southern California after living the country life in Colorado and Oklahoma. There was, however, another child in the family at that time, Thelma Shepard. She was Will and Bura's late-in-life daughter, who was Beverly's aunt, even though only 3 years older than Beverly.

We have numerous family pictures showing Beverly as a child, looking for all the world like Shirley Temple who at the time was America's darling little girl and child movie star. Born in 1939, Beverly was the only Granddaughter in our family until my sister Linda was born in 1950.

The first picture shows Beverly in the early 1940s at about 2 years old. With her is my father Eugene Shepard, her uncle. This is a classic image that captures the spirit of the times and of our Shepard family. They look to be on the front porch of the Russell home on Ohio Street in San Diego. He is about 21 years old, cigarette in hand, tall, dark and handsome. He has no smile on his face for these were serious times -- World War II was ready to explode and he was either in the military or ready to enlist. Bev is dressed in the white of innocence, cute bow in her hair, in a pretty, short dress with a soft, naive look on her face. 

Nola Shannon Gower. Today is also the anniversary of the birth of my maternal Grandmother Nola Shannon Gower (1903-2004). She was born exactly 18 years before my father Eugene Shepard, who was her son-in-law for almost 60 years. 

Nola was born in the hills of Northern Arkansas where at 18 she married Leroy Gower and where they had their first two children, Hendrix and Maida. They then moved westward, first to Oklahoma where youngest child Vicki was born, and then to San Diego where they lived most of the rest of their lives.

This second image is a collection of pictures showing Nola Shannon Gower over the years. Upper left shows her in about 1910 as a young girl with her sister in Mountain View, Arkansas. The other pictures show her at various points in her life: with her mother (about 1935) probably in Oklahoma, with her first Granddaughter (1950) in San Diego, with one of her Great Grandchildren (1977) in Sylmar, California, at a family reunion (1992) in San Diego, and finally with her daughter Vicki in 2003 in Anacortes, Washington on the occasion of her 100th birthday celebration.

Centennial Anniversary. As I mentioned in my last post, this spring marks the 100th Wedding Anniversary of William and Bura Davis Shepard on June 2, 2015. I have a page set up which you can visit to celebrate this centennial event. In the next several weeks leading up to their anniversary I will add additional information and links to the page to make it even more informative and interesting. Visit the page now and be sure check back in coming weeks. 
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Steve Shepard

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Twin Twins, April 23, 2015

Let gratitude be the pillow
upon which you kneel
to say your nightly prayer.
And let faith be the bridge you build
to overcome evil and welcome good.
~Maya Angelou

Isaac and Dominic. Today is the birthday of twins Isaac and Dominic Ortiz of San Diego. They are two of the sons of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz, and were born three years ago in Blue Springs, Missouri. Their grandmother is Kim Clark and their Great Grandmother is Thelma Shepard Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri. Isaac and Dominic are 2 of the 15 Great Great Grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard, who are mentioned below.

Desiree: "The boys will be celebrating their 3rd birthday this Thursday! I can't believe that my little guys will be three. My last babies have grown so quickly. Though they have been struggling with a condition that causes them to vomit often, they are doing well. They have come so far from when they were born. They are such a blessing! They bring happiness to my days with their fun personalities! They are such sweet loving boys!! I can't imagine my life without them!"

Amanda and Susan. Saturday, April 25, is the 35th birthday of another set of twins in our extended family, Amanda Clark Farrell and Susan Clark Cox. They are two of the daughters of Jerry Clark of Lubbock, Texas and Jane Clark Brock, also of Lubbock. Amanda is married to Chris Farrell and lives in Frisco, Texas, while Susan is married to Andrew Cox and lives in Lubbock. Best wishes and happy birthday to Susan and Amanda!

The picture above shows Susan Clark Cox with husband Andrew, and Amanda Clark Farrell with husband Chris.

One Century Ago. 6 weeks from now, June 2, 2015 will be the 100th Anniversary of the wedding of my grandparents William Shepard and Bura Davis Shepard. It will be an important occasion worth celebrating and I invite all of you to participate. Ideally we should get together in person somewhere and honor their memory, but since we are so scattered that seems unlikely. Instead -- since this is the digital age -- I invite you to be a part of an online Wedding Anniversary Celebration.

I have set up a page on The Shepard's Crook with information about that day 100 years ago and provide you with the opportunity to visit that page and share your memories and reflections in honor of them. Over the next 6 weeks I will add information and resources and interactive opportunities as we remember Will and Bura Davis Shepard on the 100th Anniversary of their wedding.

In coming weeks...
  • I will put together a photo presentation highlighting images of them and their family over the last century.
  • I will provide an audio recording from 1975 of William telling about the events surrounding their Oklahoma wedding in 1915.
  • I will offer a list of links to various blog posts where I have discussed them, their wedding, and other events and people of a century ago.
  • On that page you will have the opportunity to add comments and share your thoughts, memories, and reflections, and read the comments of others.
I invite you to visit the Shepard Anniversary page now by selecting this link, but remember to check back in coming weeks as more will be added to it as we move toward their actual wedding anniversary on June 2. Join me in marking this important 100th Anniversary Celebration!
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Steve Shepard

A 100th Wedding Anniversary!

William Shepard and Bura Davis Shepard
On the Occasion of Their 
100th Wedding Anniversary

A Century Ago. 100 years ago, on June 2, 1915, my grandparents William Shepard (1888-1976) and Bura Emerald Davis (1896-1986) were married in Beaver County, Oklahoma. This page of The Shepard's Crook is the place to honor them and celebrate their life, their marriage, and their living legacy. Though William has been gone for 39 years, and Bura for 29 years, we remember them still.

An Historic Recording of William Shepard. The following photo presentation includes an actual recording from 40 years ago -- in 1975 -- when William Shepard was interviewed by the minister of the El Cajon Boulevard Church of Christ in San Diego. In this interview William, with Bura at his side, describes what it was like the day he and Bura were married. (If you have trouble viewing or hearing this presentation on a mobile device, please try it on a desktop computer.)


A Clan of 87. Over the last century, Will and Bura's marriage has lead to the creation of a large family which includes...
  • 4 children, 
  • 12 Grandchildren, 
  • 21 Great Grandchildren, 
  • 15 Great Great Grandchildren, 
  • and 2 Great Great Great Grandchildren. 
Will and Bura's 60th Wedding Anniversary in 1975
That is a total of 54 direct descendants who have been born to them over the last century, better than 1 birth every other year for 100 years. Add to that total the 31 men and women who have married into their family over the years, and you have a clan of 87 individuals. 

73 of those 87 people are still around today, and range in age from 5 months old to 90 years old. They are scattered around the Western United States in San Diego, Northern California, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. Just to the right of this post on the main page of The Shepard's Crook are pictures of 9 of the youngest of those 73 descendants of Will and Bura. Scattered throughout the posts of this blog are pictures of every single one of their descendants.

Here's an interesting note: Of those 73 descendants who are alive today, 32 were born since William Shepard died in 1976. That means that close to half of the descendants of William and Bura who are alive today never had the opportunity to meet William or Bura. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have known them were touched by their lives in a wide variety of ways. The memories we have of them are numerous and varied; the gratitude we feel is immense; the debt we owe to them is beyond measure.

William and Bura Through The Years: a Collage of Images and Sound. The following musical photo presentation shows a variety of images of William and Bura Davis Shepard and their family. Some of the same pictures are included in the presentation above. This one, however, does not include the 1975 recorded interview. Instead it shares a wide variety of family pictures from 1914 through the 1980s. (If you have trouble viewing or hearing this presentation on a mobile device, please try viewing it on a desktop computer.)


For More Information. Here are some links to other informative blog posts regarding Will and Bura's wedding on June 2, 1915:
Whether you are a descendant of theirs, a family friend, a relative, or are connected to them in some other way, be a part of this growing online Wedding Anniversary Celebration. If you have suggestions about how we might expand this page honoring them, please let me know.
Greenwood Cemetery, San Diego

What Say You? At the bottom of this post is a place where you can leave some comments. Your comments may be just a sentence or two, or perhaps longer. I invite you to leave some thoughts regarding this 100th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. You can respond to one of the following questions, or comment however you would like.
  • What is your favorite memory of William and Bura Shepard?
  • What important life lessons did you receive from them?
  • What was the most important thing about them?
  • What special moments did you share with them?
  • How did they impact your life?
  • How is your life different today for having been touched by their lives?
Click on "post a comment" below to leave your thoughts, memories, reflections, or words of gratitude for the late William and Bura Davis Shepard. Let's make their 100th Wedding Anniversary worthy of their life and legacy!

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Steve Shepard

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Wake Up and Live!" April 14, 2015

Don't bury your thoughts,
put your vision to reality.
Wake Up and Live!
-Bob Marley

Happy Birthday today to Rachel Shepard! My niece Rachel with Brian Miller are the parents of 6 month old Kellan Shepard, one of the newest members of our family. They and Rachel's parents Darrell and Mary Shepard live in Bothell, Washington, as does Rachel's brother Patrick Shepard and his family.

28 years ago Rachel was born in Helena, Montana, but has lived most of her life in the state of Washington. Rachel stays busy these days not only as the mother of little Kellan, but also as the director of the Business Office of Brookdale Senior Living facility in Seattle.

The first picture shows Rachel and Brian with son Kellan in a picture taken last fall.

Just a few days ago was Sibling's Day, an occasion that did not go unnoticed in this blog. I mentioned that the senior siblings among us are Vicki Gower Johnston and her sister Maida Gower Shepard (Rachel's grandmother).

Junior Siblings. This blog is not only concerned with genealogical matters and our senior members, it also has an eye to the newest and youngest ones in our family. It seems only fair then to mention that two of Maida Shepard's Great Grandchildren are the junior siblings in our extended family. They also happen to be the nephews of Rachel Shepard. 

Logan Joseph Shepard (21 months old) and his young brother Mason (6 months old) are the youngest pair of siblings in our family. They are the children of Patrick Shepard and Nicole Haw Shepard, also of Bothell, Washington. Logan was born in the summer of 2013, while his little brother Mason was born just last fall. My brother Darrell and his wife Mary are their proud grandparents.

This second picture shows junior siblings Mason and Logan in a picture that was posted on Facebook about a week ago. Notice that Logan and Mason are among the "youngest descendants" of our family, an updated section on the main screen of The Shepard's Crook website.

I mentioned a while back that we have had something of a baby boom in our family in the last 5 years. Mason and Logan are 2 of the last 4 born during this boom time. So from all indications they may be the junior siblings among us for the next few years. (Yet you never know...) 
- - -
Steve Shepard

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Celebrating Siblings, April 8, 2015

Brothers and sisters...
We know each other as we always were.
We know each other's hearts.
We live outside the touch of time.
~Clara Ortega

Today is the wedding anniversary of Jerry Clark and Cathrina Helms Clark, who were married 9 years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They live today in Lubbock, Texas. 

The first picture shows Jerry and Cathrina back in 2010 when they were on vacation. Congratulations to both of them on 9 years of marriage!

National Siblings Day. This Friday, April 10, is National Siblings Day, a relatively new 21st century opportunity to celebrate one aspect of family. Our siblings are usually the persons we know longer than any other people in our lives. Siblings day is an occasion to show our gratitude for brothers and sisters. One of the things in my life for which I am most grateful is my upbringing. It is the thing for which I will forever be indebted to my mother and dad. Not only did that upbringing include a stable home in a fine neighborhood of San Diego, but it also included a rich church experience, a good public education, and a larger family experience of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, on both the Gower and Shepard sides of my family.

My family experience included being one of 6 siblings, whose births were spread out over 16 years, from 1946 to 1962. The third in that sextet was my sister Linda who died tragically in 1971 but who, through marriage, brought into our family Jerry Clark who has remained one of us through the years. Linda will always be remembered fondly when speaking about the children of Maida and Gene Shepard.
My siblings and I have each chosen a unique direction for ourselves, but it has all contributed to the beautiful collage that is our family's life. I am honored to have siblings who mean a lot to me, and who each contribute to the rich family experience we enjoy today.

The first image is the most recent picture of me and my siblings together. It was taken at the last Shepard family reunion in Anacortes, Washington in August, 2013. From left to right are me (child #2 ), Darrell (child #4 ), Barbara (child #5), mom Maida Shepard, Gary (child #1) and Russell (child #6).

Senior Siblings. As we celebrate Siblings Day it seems only appropriate to honor the senior siblings among us. That distinction belongs to Maida Gower Shepard and Vicki Gower Johnston, the daughters of the late Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower.

Though they are the senior siblings among us, this third picture shows them in about 1942 when Vicki (left) was 8 years old and Maida was 17 years old. These two pictures were taken in San Diego, shortly after the Gower family moved there from Oklahoma. Vicki Gower Johnston and Maida Gower Shepard live today in Western Washington, Vicki in Oak Harbor with her husband Duke, and Maida not far away in Anacortes with her daughter Barbara and grandson Steven.
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Steve Shepard

Friday, April 03, 2015

"The Past is Part of the Present", April 3, 2015

We are in time and space
But we are from beyond time and space
The past is part of the present
The future is part of the present
Life and being are interwoven
~John Trudell

Happy Birthday on this Good Friday to our son Nathan Shepard. Nathan was born here in San Diego early on a Palm Sunday in 1977. Today Nathan works for Wells Fargo Bank and lives in the San Carlos Community of San Diego with wife Chenda and children Preslea, Logan and William. An avid Hockey fan and player, Nathan also enjoys hiking in the Sierra and quality time with the family. The following photo presentation is offered in celebration of his 38th Birthday.


Happy Birthday tomorrow to Ciara Ortiz of San Diego. Ciara is the oldest child of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz and the granddaughter of Kim Boyd Clark of Blue Springs, Missouri. She is also a Great Great Grandchild of Bura Davis Shepard and William Shepard, mentioned in the comments below. This picture shows Ciara (top) with her brother Damian, sister Ashlyn and a friend. This was posted to Facebook just a couple of weeks ago.

Desiree: Just wanted to give you a shout out for Ciara. Her birthday is this coming weekend. April 4 she will be the big 13. Can't believe Jeremy and I will have a teenager. It's a little scary, lol! Ciara is adjusting well to being back in San Diego. She is active in school, and a part of the basketball and swim team, as well as the photography team, putting the year book together! She is looking forward to summer so she can spend July in Missouri with Grammy and Grandpa Jeff and attend 3 weeks of Bible camp. 

Three Shepard Cousins. I mentioned in my last post that newly discovered ancestors Frank and Lida Shepherd had a daughter named Flossie Shepherd. From everything we know, and from family stories I have heard, Grandad William Shepard (1888-1976) never knew he had an uncle Frank and aunt Lida, and therefore probably never knew about his cousin Flossie Shepherd (1894-1960abt.). Our best knowledge suggests that when Great Grandfather William Elmer Shepard left Indiana as a young man, he disconnected from his family and was never reunited with them. This was not only due to the fact that they had parted under unpleasant circumstances, but also because travel and long distance communication was difficult in the 19th century, nothing like it is today.

The following picture is an attempt to do something that was never done when these three were alive, and that is bring them together. This tryptic shows my Grandfather William Shepard (1888-1976), his sister Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892-1980), and their first cousin Frances (Flossie) Shepherd (1894-1960abt). The first two, William and Sadie were very close throughout most of their lives, first in Alton, Illinois and then in Beaver County, Oklahoma. But not so their cousin Flossie who lived most of her life in Plymouth, Indiana, some 1,000 miles away.

The pictures of William and his sister Sadie were taken in June 1915 in Beaver County, Oklahoma on the occasion of the wedding of William Shepard to Bura Davis. Flossie's picture was taken in June 1911 when she graduated from Plymouth (Indiana) High School. These three are the only grandchildren of Civil War soldier William Shepard (1835-1862) and his wife Mary Sprague Shepard (1840-1919).
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Steve Shepard