Irene P. Shepard
February 11, 1928 - July 30, 2017

Irene Payne Shepard died on July 30, 2017, at the age of 89. She was born on February 11, 1928, in Dallas, Texas, where she spent her early life through college. She was a resident of Gautier, Mississippi, for the past 53 years, with her last few years being spent in the Grand Bay Convalescent Home, where she received excellent care, for which her family is grateful.

She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1945 and from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish in 1949. She did post-graduate work at SMU, the University of South Alabama, and the University of Southern Mississippi and obtained a Masters Degree.

She began her career as a school teacher in Port Arthur, Texas, where she met Louis V. Shepard. They married in 1950 and, during their marriage, they lived in Port Arthur, TX; San Diego, CA; Havana and Santiago de Cuba; El Paso, TX; Pascagoula, MS, and Gautier, MS. They were together for 62 years, when Louis passed away.

After her children were in school, Irene returned to teaching at Our Lady of Victory (now Resurrection) Catholic School in Pascagoula; Pascagoula Junior High School; and, finally, Pascagoula High School, where she taught Spanish from 1969 to 1985, when she retired.

Irene was an excellent seamstress her entire life. After she retired, she learned to make quilts and even won some awards for her work. She enjoyed socializing with her friends, volunteering at the Gautier Public Library, and reading.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Shepard; her parents, Lewis and Irene Payne ; her sister, Edna Duke ; and her two half-brothers, Lewis Payne, Jr., and William Payne.

She is survived by her children, Robert P. Shepard, Steven L. Shepard (Jeanne); and Sara Shepard Guest (Bob); her two grandchildren, Zachary Shepard and Joel Guest; her sister, Dorothy McClure and her numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life for Irene Shepard will be held on Saturday, August 12, from 1:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. at O’Bryant-O-Keefe Funeral Home, 3290 Ladnier Road, Gautier MS, (and will include a brief presentation by her children at 2:00 P.M. in the chapel).

In memory of her love of books and reading, the family suggests donations to the Gautier Public Library, 2100 Library Lane, Gautier, MS 39553.