Friday, August 18, 2023

Maida Gower Shepard (1924-2023)

It is with great sadness that I share with all of you that my mother Maida Shepard, passed away earlier this month. Late in the evening on August 6 she passed away peacefully at her home on Wildwood Lane in Anacortes, Washington. She had her family around her as she gently slipped away and into the gentle arms of a waiting savior.

Maida Imogene Gower was born in Mountain View, Arkansas on November 1, 1924. When a year old her parents Leroy Gower and Nola Shannon Gower moved with Maida and her older brother Hendrix to Okemah, Oklahoma where sister Vicky was born, the last of their three children.

In 1942 during Maida's senior year at Okemah High school, her family moved to San Diego where Maida graduated from San Diego High in 1943. It was quite an adjustment from small town life in Oklahoma to the growing metropolis of San Diego. But it turned out to be a good move. The family remained settled in Southern California for 36 years. 

In 1943 Maida, who was raised as a Baptist, had a Church of Christ friend named Janelle who invited Maida to a social event at the El Cajon Boulevard Church of Christ in San Diego. There she met a young Navyman named Eugene Shepard. At first their relationship was long distant because Eugene was stationed in Orange County. But eventually their relationship grew and they were married on May 24th, 1945 in a private ceremony at the minister's house behind the church in San Diego. 

Between 1946 and 1962 Maida and Eugene brought 6 children into the world, all of whom were raised at their San Diego home on Armstrong Street, with the Linda Vista Church of Christ being their spiritual home. Maida and husband Eugene were pillars of the Linda Vista Church, and were a blessing to that congregation for 20 years.

Maida was a woman of deep faith and strong conviction and as such was the spiritual heart of our family. She loved Church activities and could always be counted on to support the programs and fellowship of her church. She loved sewing, quilting, gardening, cooking and crocheting.  

Maida was a devoted mother of her 6 children, and with Eugene loved them through the many trials of growing up. When their older daughter Linda died in a car accident at just 20 years old, it was a crushing blow to the whole family, but Maida and Eugene endured with grace and faith. 

After their children were grown, Maida and Eugene left Southern California in 1978 and relocated to Anacortes, Washington where they became members of the Fidalgo Island Church of Christ. For 45 years Maida was a faithful member of that congregation. With her death recently at 98 years old, her labors have ended, but her great legacy remains and will be felt in the lives of her family and friends for years to come.

Maida is survived by 6 children, 12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren, who are scattered throughout Northwest Washington, Southern California and North Texas.
Maida was preceded in death by a daughter Linda in 1971, and her husband Eugene in 2003.

In the near future Maida will be laid to rest at Greenwood Cemetery in San Diego next to numerous family members, including her parents, her daughter Linda (1950-1971) and husband Eugene (1921-2003).

A memorial service for her will be held tomorrow (Aug. 19, 2023) at the Fidalgo Island Church of Christ in Anacortes.
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Steve Shepard


Anonymous said...

I loved her so much and will miss her . Love Kim

Anonymous said...

Prayers and comfort to you and your family. We loved Maida. Will be at service in spirit. Bud and Janet Davis