Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Celebrations, May 21, 2017

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
   and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3.5-6

Hello family and friends!

Nathan and Kaylan
Congratulations to Kaylan Shepard on her graduation from Shepard High School this week. She plans to attend Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida in the fall. The quote at the top of this post accompanied Kaylan's graduation notice. 

Her brother Nathan Shepard graduated from Florida College earlier this month. Best wishes to both Kaylan and Nathan, and the proud parents of both graduates, my cousin Dane Shepard and his wife Cindy of Blanchard, Oklahoma!

The first picture shows both graduates: Nathan Shepard with his sister Kaylan.

Are there others in our family who are graduating this spring? I would be glad to hear about you and share your graduation news with everyone. Best wishes to all of you!

Elmer James Shepard in the 1930s
Yesterday, May 20, was the 99th anniversary of the birth of my uncle Elmer Shepard (1918-2012), the late grandfather of Nathan and Kaylan. Elmer was the second child of William and Bura Davis Shepard and was a part of that family of 9 who moved from Southeast Colorado to San Diego in 1940. They began the Shepard presence here in Southern California that has continued now for 77 years.

Remembering Elmer brings to mind the fact that 99 years ago, my grandparents William and Bura Shepard were a young married couple with a one year old, Pauline, and now a second child, Elmer. They were making the most of their lives in the dusty rural farm land of Beaver County, Oklahoma. 

Jason Shepard with niece Lyndsey
The second picture shows Elmer Shepard as a young man, in his farming overalls, sitting on a horse. This picture was taken sometime in the 1930s probably on the farm where the family lived.

When Elmer was born, the Shepards had been in Oklahoma a little more than 10 years, while Bura and her Davis kinfolk had been in Oklahoma barely 4 years. They were relative newcomers to the state, having moved from Illinois and Indiana, respectively. Yet twenty-somethings William and Bura were doing their best with their young family and their high hopes to establish some roots in a difficult time.

Now, 99 years later, while some of Will and Bura's descendants still live in San Diego, others have returned to Oklahoma, the land of their roots, while still others have moved on to the Northwest, the Midwest, Texas and elsewhere.

Ashlyn Ortiz on left with her siblings
Two other members of our family, whose roots happen to be in San Diego, are to be celebrated. Among those having birthdays this past week are Jason Shepard of Fort Worth, Texas who turned 45 on Thursday. Jason, the son of my brother Gary Shepard and Jackie Perry, is pictured above with his niece Lyndsey Aquiningoc. This picture was taken last fall in Weatherford, Texas.

Also with a birthday this past week is Ashlyn Ortiz of El Cajon, California, who turned 12 on Friday. Ashlyn is the daughter of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz and the grandchild of my cousin Kim Clark. The final picture, taken overlooking the Pacific Ocean, shows Ashlyn, on the left in the picture, with her siblings Dominic, Isaac, Damian and Ciara.
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Steve Shepard

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