Wealthie Eileen Myers Shepard (originally Myers) died early this morning. It was not unexpected, but traumatic nonetheless. She was the only daughter of Delpha F. Myers (originally Whitman) and Claude B. Myers. She married Donald L. Shepard in 1933, and they had their only child Mary Ann Shepard (then Orwig)(now Labuta) in, I think, 1970 or something like that (that’s what Mom says, anyway). Wealthie lived in McClure Ohio, Allen Park, MI, Leesburg, FL, Toledo, and Bowling Green before coming to the nursing home in Saline.
Wealthie was a wife, a Mom, then became a very successful Grandma. Amy and I have tons of memories of Grandma and Grandpa when we were little. Wealthie just got to experience being a Great Grandma for a short time (“Oh, God,” she would say when we called her that. “It’s awful isn’t it? How did I live so long?”). After a few years as a Great Grandma, the Alzheimer’s shifted everything back a generation for her. I became “Blaine”, and she called Harrison “Scott”. Then she didn’t call us anything at all, just seeing us as some of the generic friends and family who she “ran into” at the nursing home. Great Grandma got to meet Kennedy and Shepard but I don’t think she really understood who they were.
When we got the news this morning, Mom, Amy, and I did the traditional things. We got together and inflicted emotional injury on each other as only family can, made up, fed babies, ate, and made funeral plans. After a while Amy tended to her grief by performing the traditional “make a funeral music playlist on iTunes” activity (Dr. Joe helped with that) and abusing prescription medications. Mom handled the more practical preparations for the funeral. And I consoled Mom as sons have in times of grief for generations: I set up her wireless network.
It looks like the funeral will be in McClure on Monday afternoon.
The year 2008 is lucky it hosted the births of Shepard and Kennedy, because if not for that — so far — it would totally SUCK.
Anyway, below are some pictures of Wealthie Shepard in happier times, along with two videos that include her from Christmas 2000.