|Birth: ||Jul. 18, 1935|
|Death: ||Jan. 30, 2010|
Thank you to all who happen to pass by and leave a token for my beautiful Mom.
♥ Song below dedicated to all Mothers ♥
♫ Save A Place For Me ♫
When a child is born, we visit and we gather with flowers and gifts to celebrate the new life. We welcome the baby into this world with hugs and kisses. We cry tears of happiness for the miracle of life. We are thankful for the new life, and say prayers of hope for the life about to be lived.
Arlayne Elizabeth White was born July 18, 1935. Her parents, Helene Margaret and Frank Leslie Shepherd were ecstatic to have a third child, and second daughter. Friends and family were there to welcome her into this life, into this world. She was blessed with a tight knit, loving family.
Arlayne was always close to her brother Warren and sister Donnie. She spent her childhood years in Bakersfield and loved animals, especially horses. She never was able to own a horse, although she developed a lifelong love of cats which she passed along to her daughters.
Arlayne, decided her name was too hard to pronounce. She started calling herself "Nene". As she would tell someone her name, she would first touch one knee, then the other as she would point out: "Nene". Her chosen name would stay with her forever. This may have been one of the first signs of her strong personality, as other family preferred her given name: Arlayne being it so beautiful.
Nene spent her childhood and teenage years in Kern County. She graduated from B H S School, where she enjoyed acting in school plays and also modern dance. (This love of dance was also passed onto her daughters, all of them were cheer song leaders, during their teenage years in High School).
She married out of High School to Ronald Webb. They moved to North Carolina, as he was a Marine military man and she helped support their new life. She gave birth to her first daughter while living on the military base.
They returned home and bought a house. Soon Nene gave birth to two more daughters. Now there were three little girls. What a blessing.
In the early 60's Nene, as a single mother, moved her three little girls to a new house. This was a perfect house to raise three active, spunky little girls. The house had a huge yard, where the girls would chase little butterflies around the new yard. There was also a community swimming pool, where the girls enjoyed swimming but only after their homework was done. Nene did a good job picking out the house with her girls in mind. There were fields to play in and catch lizards; a nearby orange orchard and a reservoir, or pond, where the girls would catch tadpoles. Yes, everything Nene did was on behalf of, and for her 3 girls.
Even though being a single mother was tough, life seemed ideal. Nene taught the girls to be strong and independent. She made sure they did their chores and school work. While living in their new house, her girls gave her another nick name; "Hoot Owl". Nene would always stay awake until they came home from a night out with friends. It seemed she never slept; always awake through the night like a Hoot Owl.
Nene had an exemplary work ethic. She worked for years full time at a collection agency. There were times she worked as many as three jobs at once to support her girls. She worked weekends, and also took in ironing to do at night. She would make and leave a casserole when she had to work late for the girls to have for dinner. As I mentioned earlier, she planned ahead to take care of them. She raised her girls with strength and compassion. She taught them the essence of hard work, honesty, character, and to stand firm to your word. She encouraged them and provided for them through her hard work. Even though she worked hard and long for her daughters, she was always there to lend a helping hand and to make things right.
Nene also had a playful side. As a child, Nene and her mother loved limburger cheese, but not so for her brother Warren. Knowing how much he hated the scent of the limburger cheese, Nene and her sister Donnie once took some of that dreadful smelling cheese and set it on the floor in front of the door to Warren's room. Remember how those old vacuum cleaners had the capability to put the hose into the opposite end, and then it would blow rather than vacuum? Well, Nene and Donnie reversed the vacuum, set that limburger cheese in front of the hose, and blew under the door the smell of that limburger cheese. I don't think Warren studied much more in his bedroom that afternoon.
Nene adored her brother Warren and sister Donnie. Every morning Nene waited with anticipation for Warren to walk over to her house, (which was around the corner)for a cup of coffee and the daily chit chat. Donnie loved to clean houses and cleaned Nene's too, giving them time together to chit-chat and enjoy each other.
The competitive side of Nene gave her a love for games. She loved to play blackjack. My wife and I took her to Las Vegas back in the 90's. We had a tough time keeping up with her. There was no day or night for Nene in Vegas; barely even time for meals. She was a good player too. She would always bring more home than she came with.
Nene was learning new card games. In the last six months she had learned to play Crazy Eights, and also Skip Bow. She also wanted to keep up with technology so a few months ago, Nene bought her first laptop computer. The main reason she told us was so she could e-mail Warren who had to move to Louisiana. We purchased a game of blackjack to load onto her computer. Again, she loved those games. It was nice to see her playing them.
She had her traditions also for her grand children. J's was chicken fried steak. Whenever he would visit, Nene and John would feed him full of chicken fried steak. He also enjoyed playing in their spa. S and N's would get sourdough toast. Nene would keep toasting that sourdough until the entire loaf had been toasted, and devoured.
This compassion and generosity was for everyone. In the early 80's Jim and Cheryl came out to visit with their two children. They had never met Nene. Jim and Cheryl stopped by the 7/11 to visit Nene. The first thing she said to the kids was "Follow me". She took them to the toy aisle, and told them to pick out anything they wanted. Boy; talk about a child's dream come true; any toy you wanted. What an impression she made on those two kids.
I felt this same compassion when I was first introduced to Nene and John. I was made to feel welcome and they accepted me as part of the family from that very first moment. Nene treated me like a son. I have always appreciated her for that and loved her very much and will forever love her.
Nene met a handsome man named John White in the 70's who owned a 7/11 store. Soon she took on another job working with him. Their friendship blossomed, and the two were married, August 8 1979. They built a condo, with the spa that grandson, J remembers playing in. Over the years they expanded and owned two convenience stores; A 7/11 store and a Fastrip. They had stores in Bakersfield and Delano. But by the early 90's, they sold the two stores and retired from the business. Now they could enjoy that spa; and John would enjoy Nene's cooking. They enjoyed each others love and companionship until 1995, when John was called home to Heaven.
Nene couldn't stay fully retired. She worked part time at a friend's Fastrip doing the books. She also sold Avon products. Nene really enjoyed the Avon sales. She had such an outgoing personality, and had a natural sales ability. Nene also believed in your civic duty of voting. She was a regular volunteer at her neighborhood polling station.
When I first met Nene, she was driving a huge Lincoln Mark something. It was sooo long, you couldn't see the entire car without moving your head from left to right. That vehicle went bye bye, and Nene started scooting around town in a red pick up. She named the truck "Betsy" and I truly believe Betsy was one of her best friends. She loved that red truck. In spite of this love, again she was generous in letting any of us use it if we needed to move or haul something. Her only rule: Put the two Avon boxes back in the bed of the truck. We could change the radio station; change the mirror adjustment, or leave the seat back, all that was ok; just put those boxes back in the bed, up against the cab.
There is of course so much more to Nene's life than I have mentioned here and unfortunately we have come to that final portion of life; And just as we gather and visit to celebrate the new life at birth, we once again gather with gifts of flowers and stories to share to celebrate the miracle of Nene's life that has left this world. We cry tears of sorrow and grief. We are thankful for the life that was shared with us, and say prayers for the soul and spirit, and her life that has left us. That is why we are here today; To say our "Goodbye" to Nene.
Our Nene has spread her wings, and flown away home, and the heavens again opened and welcomed Nene back with open arms. We love you, Nene, Mom, Grandma and friend and we will forever miss you.
~Eulogy written by Geoff H~
Arlayne is preceded in death by her husband, John L. White; parents; Leslie "Les" Shepherd and Helene Margaret Swartz Shepherd; sister Donnie "Helene" Shepherd Mason; sister-in-law Nelva Jean "Bird" Thurston Shepherd and grandson; Bradley Matthew Gloeckner. She is survived by her three daughters; Family includes many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, and a supportive John S. Everyone who knew and loved Nene shares a huge void in their life. Nene will be dearly missed by all.
Printed Jan 31 2010.
Names of the living have been omitted.
♥ This memorial was created with love ♥
All photos are copyrighted by me ©SaffronWings. Please do not use or duplicate. Lifting these photos to be used elsewhere is a violation of copyright
Frank Leslie Shepherd (1895 - 1973)
Helene Margaret Swartz Shepherd (1908 - 1988)
Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary and Cemetery
Maintained by: Saffron♥Wings
Originally Created by: Diana Satterfield
Record added: Feb 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47659644