Friday, June 02, 2017

Celebrate Your Life, June 2, 2017

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.
~Oprah Winfrey

A Shepard Anniversary. Today is the 38th wedding anniversary of my brother Gary and his wife Cindy Ann Shepard of Oak Harbor, Washington. They were married June 2, 1979 in a small garden wedding in Los Alamitos, California. Only a handful of us were in attendance but it was a beautiful event. Those of us who were there remember it well. Happy Anniversary to Gary and Cindy!

Gary and Cindy lived in the San Diego area for most of their married life. They moved to Western Washington in 2003 to help care for our aging father Eugene Shepard who died in the summer of '03. Today they are an indispensable part of the small team of folks who are caring for our mother Maida Shepard. Gary has had his own health concerns in the last year but is doing better. Mom continues to need constant care but is doing quite well for 92 years old.

Another Shepard Anniversary. It was 102 years ago today that Gary's grandparents William and Bura Davis Shepard were married in Beaver County, Oklahoma. At the time they had known each other for less than 2 years. In the spring of 1913, the Davis family moved into the part of Beaver County where the Shepards lived. It was a sparsely populated farming community where potential marriage partners were in short supply. So when 26 year old William met 18 year old Bura, he knew she was someone special. They were married in 1915 on the 45th Birthday of Bura's father James Brooks Davis (1870-1928).

In 1975, the year before William Shepard died, he reminisced about his 1915 wedding day, and his bride, by saying this:

She was quite a Sunday School girl. I had just come into the church myself [the South Flat Church of Christ] in December [1914]. My dad had come in a little earlier than that. He was on his death bed with cancer and wanted to see me become a Christian before he died. So I did.

I had my first model T car. [To get married] we had to go to another sod house where the preacher lived. It was a real wet spring and water was standing everywhere. We didn't have highways. Just old roads. I didn't think we could make it by the regular road so we went on the higher country and ran into a lake and got stuck. We sat there in that car in the mud nearly all day. Finally an old gentleman who lived there pulled us out with his team of horses. It was about 3 or 4 o'clock. 

The preacher then tied the knot and we went home the way we should have when we went out to see him. He must have done a good job tying the knot because it is still tight.

Yet Another Anniversary. Yesterday was the 15th wedding anniversary of Will and Bura Shepard's Great Grandson Jeremy Ortiz and his wife Desiree of El Cajon, California. Best wishes to them for a very happy anniversary! The triptych above shows all three sets of anniversary celebrants: Will and Bura at the top, then Gary and Cindy, and then Jeremy and Desiree.

Congratulations to Graduates. I have mentioned numerous times in this blog my Grandfather William Shepard's sister, Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892-1980). I have been corresponding with one of Sadie's Granddaughters, Lisa Allred Parks of Forth Worth, Texas. Second cousin Lisa responded to my last post concerning this spring's graduates by sharing about two young folks in her part of our family.

Best wishes and kudos to Kenny Wheeler, the son of Lisa's sister Shawna Allred Wheeler. Kenny graduated from High School in Fort Worth just last week. Congratulations also to the daughter of Lisa's brother Steven Allred. Angela Allred Kornegay graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Civil Engineering degree. We celebrate both of them on these fine achievements!

The diptych on the left shows graduate Kenny at the top with a friend, while the bottom section shows graduate Angela with her proud father Steven Allred.

One More Celebration. I recently heard from my cousin Michael Harrell, son of Vicki Gower Johnston of Arizona. Michael and his wife Carole live in Tokyo on a 3 year assignment for Mike's work. He was back in the U.S. last month and contacted me. He and Carole are doing well almost a year into their time in Japan. He reiterated his welcome to any family members who might be visiting Japan to be sure and let them know. If you would like Mike's contact info just let me know and I will gladly pass it on to you.

Mike had a birthday just a few days ago, on May 29. Happy Birthday to Mike and best wishes to him and Carole on their extended stay in Tokyo! To keep up with Mike and Carole, visit them on Facebook.
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Steve Shepard

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