Nelva Jean “Bird” <I>Thurston</I> Shepherd

Nelva Jean “Bird” Thurston Shepherd

San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Death 10 Jun 2006 (aged 75)
Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Burial Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Plot Mausoleum, section I
Memorial ID 14641291 · View Source
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My paternal grandmother. I knew her as "Nana." She was the only daughter of Edgar and Opal Thurston, and had one brother, Robert "Bob" Thurston. On February 22, 1953, she married Warren Ronald Shepherd.

From the Bakersfield Californian, June 13, 2006:

"Nelva was born in San Bernardino, California on April 13, 1931. With great spirit and determination, she endured a serious illness for the past four years and passed away peacefully in Bakersfield on June 10, 2006.

She was a 1949 graduate of Bakersfield High School and 1951 graduate of Bakersfield College. Following college she was a Receptionist-Secretary for the Law Firm of Dietrich, Giles, and Bates.

In 1953, at the First United Methodist Church of Bakersfield, she married Warren Shepherd, a petroleum engineer. Their marriage and career began in California and relocated them to Texas and Louisiana. During this time she chose to be a homemaker as their family grew. Along with caring for her family, she loved crafts, playing the organ, camping, and gardening. She also enjoyed being a Girl Scout leader and Cub Scout den mother for many years.

After her husband's retirement in 1989 Nelva and Warren returned to their hometown of Bakersfield where she was able to re-new her longtime friendship with her sisters-in-law Nene White and Donnie Mason. Throughout the years she enjoyed collecting music boxes, clocks, lamps and Dickens Villages. She was a member of the Village Innkeepers Club in Bakersfield, where her extensive collection was displayed in her home to the delight of family, friends, and visitors. She loved her family dearly and was very supportive of their accomplishments in life. Her encouragement would bring out the best in people. Her positive and cheerful attitude, along with her devotion to family were her endearing qualities.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and Opal Thurston, brother Bob Thurston, and son Brad Shepherd. She is survived by her devoted husband of 53 years, Warren; daughter, Cheryl Rambin and husband, Jim of Natchitoches Louisiana; son, Steve Shepherd of Walnut, California; and daughter-in-law, Dixie Shepherd of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her grandchildren include Jennifer Laws and husband, John, Patrick Rambin, Christina Shepherd, Steven Shepherd, Daniel Shepherd, and Laura Shepherd.

Many thanks are due to family, friends, physicians, and the medical community, especially Susannah Bell at the CBCC and all of Hoffmann Hospice particularly her angels Colleen Alvarez and Frances Roberts. Sincere appreciation is extended to the extraordinary care provided by Sharon Mulholland and Rosie Briggs. Thank you all for your kindness and support.

Visitation will be 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at Greenlawn Southwest, 2739 Panama Lane, Bakersfield. Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 14, in Greenlawn Southwest Memorial Chapel at the same location."

Even though she suffered from cancer for the last few years of her life, Nana was a very cheerful and upbeat person, always a pleasure to be around. She always tried to see the best in any situation. She had a wonderful sense of humor.

She was also an expert at crochet and made dozens of beautiful afghans, potholders, scarves, doilies, and more for her family and friends. She loved collecting small houses, and her collection grew into an entire minuature city!

Ecc. 7:1 states that "a name is better than good oil." Nana left a very good name for herself, and will always be remembered as the best wife, mother, and grandmother int he world!

Family Members


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  • Created by: Christie Marie Shepherd
  • Added: 18 Jun 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14641291
  • Christie Marie Shepherd
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nelva Jean “Bird” Thurston Shepherd (13 Apr 1931–10 Jun 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14641291, citing Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary and Cemetery, Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA ; Maintained by Christie Marie Shepherd (contributor 46791473) .