Feb. 28, 1921 – Oct. 2, 2013
Elizabeth Shepherd was born in Greeley, Colo., to Mathew and Winifred Ware, Feb 28, 1921. Elizabeth passed away in Mountain View, Calif., on Oct. 2, 2013, at the age of 92. She was the youngest of eight siblings.
Elizabeth’s life with her parents and siblings was a happy one. Her parents frequently took the family for hikes and picnics in the mountains and plains around Greeley. Elizabeth’s love of the natural world was a major force in her life and can be seen in the watercolors she produced over four decades. After Elizabeth graduated from Teachers’ College in Greeley in the 1940s, she married Earl Shepherd of Denver. The couple moved to California where Elizabeth taught elementary school in Visalia, and later, Los Altos. The couple had a daughter and son.
In the 1960s, Elizabeth became an active member of the Unitarian Church and Sierra Club. She traveled to Europe and Africa and began a lifelong interest in painting. Backpacking trips, visits with family in Colorado and exposure to the Unitarian Church gave her children strong values and respect for the natural world.
After Elizabeth retired in the 1970s, her son took her to Europe and Central and South America. She also visited northern Thailand, and the rainforest of Costa Rica with her son and family. She went with her daughter and family to the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico on numerous occasions. Elizabeth also traveled widely with her Davis painting group. She loved the annual painting trips to Mendocino and Lake Tahoe. Most of all, she liked to travel with her son in his Cessna on flights from Davis to Santa Cruz, Sacramento and the Bay Area.
Elizabeth moved to Village Homes, a solar and environmentally friendly community in Davis, in the 1980s. Here she made enduring friendships with several of her neighbors. She treasured Friday night movies at Gloria’s house, cherry-picking in the communal orchards, frequent rotating dinners and lunches with “the gang,” outings to the symphony and museum exhibitions in San Francisco, and always a walk during the day along Village Homes paths through orchards and vineyards to the local bakery with Toussia or Marjorie.
Elizabeth’s niece, Bonnie Jean Neighbors, began visiting Elizabeth from Colorado in the last several decades of her life. Bonnie Jean took Elizabeth to an Elder Hostel seminars, the family cabin in Rand, Colo., and Greeley, Colo., to establish a park bench in the name of her parents.
Elizabeth’s painting group in Davis supported her desire to be with other painters even after her eyesight began to fail and included her work in their frequent shows and exhibits. Elizabeth’s watercolors of Locke, Lake Tahoe and the Capay Valley adorned the walls of offices, restaurants and galleries in Sacramento, Davis and Winters and will be treasured by future generations.
Elizabeth will be sorely missed by her family and friends. She is survived by her daughter, Judith Shepherd of La Quinta; son, Henry Shepherd of Sunnyvale; grandchildren, Kate, Nick, Stephanie and Tommy; and beloved niece, Bonnie Jean Ware-Neighbors, of Boulder, Colo. A memorial service for Elizabeth will be held in the spring of 2014 in Rand, Colo. Contributions in Elizabeth’s name may be made to the Art Fund at Village Homes in Davis.