Barbara Joan Shepherd passed away peacefully at Heritage House in Stettler, Alberta on October 16, 2015 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Barb was born on October 9, 1938 in York County, Ontario near Toronto to Delcia and Harold Mills. She was the oldest of ten children. The Mills family eventually settled in Timmins, Ontario. In high school, Barb moved to California where she completed her diploma and worked for a family friend who was a veterinarian. She then came to Stettler to stay with her Grandma Ida Edgell.
Barb found work at the Stettler Hospital as a nurse’s aide and it was there in 1959 that she met a patient named Ken Shepherd. Barb and Ken were married in August 1960 and settled down just south of Erskine. Their family grew quickly, first Stephen in 1961, Gordon in 1962, Catherine in 1964 and Michael in 1965. On the farm, Barb had room to indulge in her lifelong love of animals. Barb created Cagomist Kennels in 1971 to breed and show her beloved dogs, especially Irish Setters. She was a long-time member of the Canadian Kennel Club and many of her dogs were prize winning champions. She also taught dog obedience classes for years. The idea for a boarding kennel evolved from Barb taking in friends’ dogs and later expanded to a full service boarding kennel that kept Barb very busy until Parkinson’s forced her to retire at age 70. When her children were young, she drove school bus and began a long career as the Aquatics Supervisor at the old Stettler Swimming Pool. She loved teaching children and adults how to swim and is fondly remembered by many ladies for motivating them in her aquacises classes. Some of her volunteer pursuits included Girl Guides, 4-H, being the Quartermaster at Stettler’s Annual Midwinter Scout Jamborees and teaching orienteering at various youth camps.
Barb is survived by her husband of 55 years Ken, her children Steve (Nancy), Gordon (Viola Mah), Cathy (James Dadensky) and Mike; her grandchildren Laura, Leona, Alexandra, Benjamin, Devon, Paula, Justin, Hannah, Sophie and Rhys; daughter-in-law Ingrid Shepherd; sister-in-law Louise Shepherd; and in Ontario, sisters and brothers Janet, John, Marjorie, Marilyn, Carolyn, Robert, Douglas and Cathy. Barb was predeceased by her parents Harold and Delcia; her sister Dorothy; parents-in-law Roberts and Laura Shepherd; brothers and sisters-in-law John Shepherd, Connie LeCerf, David and Hulda Shepherd.
A celebration of Barb`s life will be held on Saturday October 24, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the Stettler Anglican Church, 4817 – 51 St, Stettler, Alberta with Reverend Carolyn Langford officiating, lunch to follow. Interment will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the Erskine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Animal Haven Rescue Society.
BRENNEN FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICE
is in care of arrangements.
Stettler. Box 193, Stettler, AB T0C 2L0. 403-742-3315.