In memory of

Jeanmarie Shepard

August 15, 1931 - August 28, 2020
From: Sac City, IA
Jeanmarie Shepard

Jeanmarie Shepard

Born: August 15, 1931
Died: August 28, 2020
Age: 89
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 Jeanmarie Shepard, age 89, entered fully into the presence of her Lord and Savior, on Friday, August 28, 2020, at her home in Sac City, IA. She was born August 15, 1931, to the late Harry Eugene and Ida Marie Richards during the Great Depression. Harry rushed Ida to the ER where Jeanmarie was born and thankfully, by God’s grace, both Ida and Jeanmarie survived the whole ordeal. The doctor told them that the placenta “arrived” before the baby and more often than not, that situation usually meant death for both mother and child.

   Jeanmarie had a love for many things throughout her life of course her love of God and family was always at the top of her list but next came her love of music. She was taking piano lessons by the age of four and absolutely admired her piano teacher, Miss Wade. By the age of five Jeanmarie was playing the piano and singing on the Radio Gospel Hour with Pastor Robert Fraser, the Blind Singing Evangelist, on a radio station in Philadelphia. She always recalled the radio announcer placing telephone books under her so she could reach the piano keys. She played the piano and organ for church at the age of thirteen. She was so blessed by God in her musical talents at the piano and organ as well as singing all throughout her life.

   Jeanmarie wanted to be a nurse after she graduated and fortunately she lived close to a hospital that meant she could easily walk to work if she were to get a job there. Her parents however, suggested she look elsewhere for a job. She wrote in one of her books that she knew God had a plan for her so she wasn’t upset with how things played out. It just so happens, a member of her church would soon contact her to let her know a position was open at the hospital and encouraged her to apply for it. Jeanmarie applied and was hired as a file clerk at the very hospital she had hoped to work at. She was a fast learner and went on to run the switchboard and eventually became a medical transcriber.

   An excerpt out of Jeanmarie’s book talks about how her father taught her to drive after graduating high school since it wasn’t something that was taught in school back then. Fast forward a bit…the fact that she was able/knew how to drive would come in handy, hence it being mentioned. The story goes that Jeanmarie and two of her friends hopped on a bus that would take them from Phily to Providence, RI, and from there to Chatham, MA, where they would vacation for Labor Day. They were delayed by an accident on the highway which meant they would miss the bus out of Providence that would take them to Chatham. They arrived in Providence and had no idea what they were going to do. They saw nothing around them- no restaurants, grocery stores, or places to stay. They were of course scared and decided to do all they could do- walk and pray. Turns out a man by the name of Ray Shepard, along with his best friend Kenny Starr, would come to the girls’ rescue. Ray and Kenny were both stationed at the Quonset Point Naval Base in Rhode Island and had driven to Providence that day to attend church. They were out for a drive when they noticed what looked like three girls in distress. The young ladies tried losing them by walking down one way streets after the young men had tried talking to them. After all, they had no clue who these men were. Jeanmarie writes: Finally, God brought us together so we could talk and Ray and Kenny insisted they take the young ladies to Chatham. So, since Jeanmarie knew how to drive it was decided that she would sit next to the driver so if anything funny started going on she could take the wheel while another would go for the brake and they would all make a run for it. Well, they safely made it to Chatham and the rest is ‘history’.

   On March 25, 1961, Jeanmarie married the love of her life, Ray Warren Shepard, in the Arch Street Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were married for 59 years. This union was blessed with five daughters: Ruth, twins Melody and Melinda, Julie, and Merriann. She loved being a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She also loved being a pastor's wife to Pastor Ray, and teaching Bible and marriage classes for women.

   Jeanmarie was a writer of books. Her column VIVACIOUS HOMEMAKER was read across the country as well as in several newspapers including The Sac Sun out of Sac City, IA, and The Sheldon Mail-Sun out of Sheldon, IA. Her daily email GOD’S DAILY WORD, was sent from her computer to nearly 300 readers.

   Jeanmarie will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved her. She is survived by her husband, Pastor Ray Shepard of Sac City, IA; five precious daughters (she called them): Ruth Brylinski, identical mirror twins Melody Rae Shepard of Lake View, IA, and Melinda Lee (Bob) Strief, of Lake View, IA, Julie (Kevin) Kitt of Sac City, IA, and Merriann (Erik) Yering of Mystic, CT; grandchildren: Joshua (Daphne), Sami (Nathan), Nick (girlfriend Alex), Kari, Matt (Morgan), Neil, Kyle, Witte, Laike, Christopher, Rachel, identical twins Thomas and Jordan,  Kaleb, and Katie; great-grandchildren: Jaxin, Benji, Wyitt, Aiden, and Elliott; many extended family members and friends.

   Jeanmarie was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Ida Richards; stepmom Mary Richards; and son-in-law Chris Conderino.

IN LIEU OF FLOWERS the family requests memorials go to:
Pastor Ray Shepard
508 South 9th Street
Apt. #1
Sac City, Iowa 50583

Tribute Video

Celebration of Life
2:30 p.m., Saturday
September 5, 2020
Farber and Otteman Funeral Home
Sac City, Iowa

Pastor Ken Miller
1:00 - 2:30 p.m., Saturday 
September 5, 2020
Farber and Otteman Funeral Home
Sac City, Iowa
In care of the family.


Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 7:47 PM
“I'm so sorry. You've definitely got my prayers”
- Vernon Allen
Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 9:38 AM
“We send our deepest sympathies and prayers to the family. jean Marie was one of a kind and her light touched each member of our family and strengthened our faith. We will miss her deeply. God Bless!”
- Heather Gann and family
Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 5:48 PM
“Melody and Nick, we are so very sorry for the loss of your mom and grandma. Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss.”
- Keith and Marlys Schmadeke
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:04 PM
“Saddened to hear of your loss,Pastor Ray and family. The short time I knew Jean Marie, I knew she had the heart of a warrior for the Lord She was a truly gifted person and used her talents in His service . I am sure she as a special place in heaven where she will be waiting for each one of us . God will bless and comfort you, Pastor Ray. Margaret Landgraf.
- Margaret Landgraf
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 10:05 AM
“Pastor Shepard and family, I was sad to hear of your loss. Jeanmarie is a pastor’s wife I have thought of many times during our 30 years of ministry. She always had endless energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand! She truly was a vivacious woman! Love and prayers to you all at this time. ”
- Joan Pilloud Carothers
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 10:05 AM
“Prayers for her and all the family...cherish all the wonderful memories and let them comfort you at this difficult time”
- Cindy and Ron Williams
Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 6:38 PM
“Sad to see Pastor Ray’s sweetheart JeanMarie has passed. The two dynamic ministers served the Lord together here, as Ray was the Interim Pastor for a year. JeanMarie inspired the churchwomen to start up a women’s ministry group, led a neighborhood Bible study, and Ray inspired the men to start up “The Band. Of Brothers” men’s service group, both of which have continued to this day. Lives were transformed by the Holy Spirit because of their combined ministries among us. We will always be grateful that they came. When the church celebrated its 100th Anniversary, Pastor Ray was the one past Pastor everyone requested to honor. May Pastor Ray find rest physically, and joy spiritually knowing that his dear “spitfire “ is safe in Heaven with her Savior.”
- Linda & Roger Freeman
Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 6:38 PM
“I only met Jeanmarie and Ray a couple times , (I was in car sales and sold them a Lincoln and an Avalon) but they both left a lasting impression on me! Jeanmarie was the very definition of a ministers wife, and a real spark plug, that just bubbled over with life and a love for her Savior and her fellow man. I received her daily emails and always looked forward to them! Also her positive outlook on life was inspirational in many ways! My sincere condolences go out to Ray and family, I'm sure she will be missed by family and the many other people she touched through out her life! Al Hunter”
- Al Hunter
Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 3:54 PM
“ Ray, Remembering the day you two meet. Your wedding and those special times will always be a special memory. Jean was a super and vivacious wife, mom and friend to be missed by all who knew her. Joan and I send our deepest sympathy to you and your dear family. Love and Prayers to all. Joan and Ken
super, vivicious lady.”
- Kenneth Starr
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 8:44 PM
- Roger & Barbara Siebrecht
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 8:44 PM
“Julie, I am so sorry to hear your mom passed! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Love Melissa ”
- Melissa Langbein
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 8:44 PM
“Well Ray, I am sure you are missing your beloved...
We always had so much fun together....
It is a glorious thought to know you will be united with her someday...where there will be no more, weeping over there...the hope we have as Christians is out if this world...literally...will be praying for you and your family this week...Sharon Roghair😊🙏”
- Sharon Roghair
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:51 PM
“Thinking of you, Pastor Ray, and family, in prayer, and with so many special memories of years past. Your marriage of 64 years is a testimony to God's grace and love in your lives.
Bill and Donna Kolbe”
- Bill and Donna Kolbe
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:51 PM
“Our dearest sympathy - words can not describe the pain we feel in the loss of this special lady BUT I know I would get scolded by these tears as she is rejoicing with our Lord and Savior. Ray, JeanMarie & Stella brought me through a very dark place in my life so many years ago. With their spunk, joy, and severe commitment to God they pulled me through with their knowledge, prayers, hugs, tears, preaching, study and discipline. Now to lose both Stella and JeanMarie in the same year within a few months of each other is tearful/heartbreaking - BUT They are with our Lord and the short time we had on this earth with them is nothing compared to the ETERNITY we will have together - See you again when we get to Heaven!! Love you all.”
- Daniel and Jody Kruger
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 1:51 PM
“Jeanmarie, we will miss you greatly. You and Ray were two special people in our lives. We went to Seminary together and we sat in your home twice for fellowship and food. Thank you for your great ministry in both churches and writings. You will be sadly missed but we will see you on the other side. Ray, we love you and are praying for you and the family. The Lord is faithful and will help you. Chaplain Don and Joan”
- Chaplain Don and Joan Myers
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