Our beloved aunt, Florence Mary Shepard, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, August 29 in her home at The Willows, at the age of 100. She was born in Gaston, Oregon, on November 4, 1919. In her long and successful lifetime, she survived the first pandemic of 1918 and was in this world to witness women getting the vote. A lifelong Democrat, she was involved in the Whatcom Democratic Party, and before that, the Lincoln County Democrats. She lived most of her adult life in Eugene, Oregon and was a hard-working social worker, finding adoptive families for at least thirty children. When she retired, she lived in Depoe Bay, Oregon. She moved to Bellingham in 2010 to be closer to family. She loved to travel, and did so extensively, including trips to Africa, Western Europe, and the Czech Republic. Several of her Czech trips were with her two beloved nieces, Virginia and Joan.
She was an avid gardener and designed a beautiful garden with a rock water fountain and a koi pond at her home in Depoe Bay. Her days were filled with her gardening, reading, and working tirelessly to elect responsible Democrats to office. She always carried a copy of the Constitution in her handbag and was a true patriot.
She was preceded in death by her parents James and Katherine Walta, her brothers John, George, and Charles, her two sisters-in-law Eulah Walta and Gertrude Walta Smith, her niece Virginia Leach, her great-nephew Randall Watson, and her great-great nephew, John Chavez.
Aunt Florence is survived by her niece, Joan Parish, nine great nieces and nephews including Elizabeth Chavez, Emily Flynn, Debbie Hansen, Valerie Hodge, Anne Guthrie, Joel Watson, Brent Watson and Teresa Watson-Baron. She is also survived by 22 great-great nieces and nephews, and numerous great-great-great nieces and nephews.
Burial at The Meadow Natural Burial Ground at Greenacres in Ferndale, WA took place September 2, 2020.
Florence will be remembered by friends and family for her wit, her loyalty, her curiosity and love of family. The family wishes to thank The Willows for their loving care along with Whatcom Hospice.