Saturday, June 02, 2018

Celebrating My Grandparents, June 2, 2018

A wedding anniversary is the celebration
of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.
The order varies for any given year.
Paul Sweeny

William and Bura. 103 years ago today my grandparents William Shepard and Bura Emerald Davis were married in Beaver County, Oklahoma. She was a teen of 18; he was 8 years older. They were both from farming families who had migrated a few years earlier from Indiana and Illinois. They went on to have 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and a large assortment of other descendants who today are scattered around the Western US. 

William and Bura Shepard, 1950s San Diego
Their youngest child, Thelma Shepard Boyd is the last surviving member of the original family. She lives with her daughter and husband Kim and Jeff Clark who are traveling the U.S. these days in their RV. Will and Bura's 2 youngest descendants, both born in 2015, are Camryn Slaughter (daughter of Courtney Boyd Slaughter) of San Diego, and Finley Shepard (daughter of Chris Shepard) of Seattle.

Will and Bura were married in the spring of 1915 in the country home of their Church's minister in rural Beaver County, Oklahoma. In 1928 they moved their family to Southeast Colorado, then on to San Diego in 1940 where they lived the largest part of their lives. I am grateful for these two who are an important part of our rich family history. It was 103 years ago that they were married but their influence continues to be felt every day, in numerous obvious and subtle ways.

Anacortes Shepard Family, Memorial Day 2018
Gary and Cindy. Today is also the wedding anniversary of my brother Gary and his wife Cindy Ann Shepard, of Oak Harbor, Washington. They were married 39 years ago in the backyard of our home in Los Alamitos, California. I spent last weekend with family in Washington and caught up with a number of my relatives in Western Washington, included Gary and Cindy. Our Memorial Day gathering was an enjoyable time of being with family and some family friends at the Anacortes home of our mother Maida Shepard.

This second picture was taken last Monday and shows Gary and Cindy, along with the others who enjoyed our afternoon Barbeque. Seated in the middle of this picture is our mother Maida Gower Shepard. At 93 she is the senior member of our Gower and Shepard families. Behind her is her oldest son Gary, with his wife Cindy kneeling on the left. Kneeling on the right is granddaughter Linda. Across the back, right to left, are me, Russell, Steven Paul, Pam, Barbara, and family friends Vicki and Virgil.

Also worthy of note as this month of June commences, are the following:
  • Today is the 148th anniversary of the birth of James Brooks Davis (1870-1928), father of my grandmother Bura Davis Shepard. On his 45th birthday his oldest daughter Bura was married.
  • Yesterday was the 16th wedding anniversary of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz. Jeremy is the great grandson of Will and Bura Shepard.
  • This past Tuesday was the 63rd birthday of my cousin Michael Harrell, grandchild of Leroy and Nola Gower and oldest son of Vicki Gower Johnston. Michael and wife Carole live in Tokyo and would love to welcome any of us if we happen to be visiting Japan. 
Best wishes to all these folks as they celebrate these important milestones!
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Steve Shepard

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