On Monday, December 15th my last grandparent passed away. William Atkinson Shepard, jr. He was 94 years old. Only few weeks short of being 95.
Bill, as he was known by family, was the son of William Atkinson Shepard, sr. and Rachel Hays. He was born in Ohio spending his formative years there and first saw my future grandmother, Lois Shaw, while sitting in church one day.
He joined the US Army Air Corps (which eventually became the United States Air Force), on June 12, 1942 during World War II.
Bill and Lois had 5 children. The first, William Gerald, didn’t live but a day after being born. Lawrence Alan died in a car accident in 1978 after being hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.
I am sorry that I didn’t know my grandparents better, but travel and distance made it difficult. My favorite memory of my grandfather is his stories, he was a great story teller, certainly not a skill I inherited. He would open the trunk in the attic of their house on Sugar Hill in Maine and pull out stories of Brer Rabbit and that briar patch and read them to me and my brother and sister.
Like my grandmother he donated his body to science.
I can’t really find the words to memorialize my grandfather with, but I do have pictures. So here are a few of my favorites. Starting with Bill and Lois looking so young, starting their life out together.
|Grandfather and Grandmother with Sue and Ken, the eldest two.|
|This is grandfather in Korea.|
|My favorite picture of me and my grandfather, this would have been about 1963.|