Margie Lou Jones Shepherd passed away peacefully in her home on February 1, 2021, after a long battle with dementia. She was 90 years old. A child of the Great Depression, Margie was born November 30, 1930, in Clark County, Arkansas. She was the second-born of six children and the oldest daughter born to James R. and Gertrude Jones. The family lived in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. As a young teen, Margie survived a near-fatal drowning accident on the Ouachita River, where she had to be resuscitated by emergency workers. Coincidentally, she never learned to swim but went on to live a long, full life.
Margie graduated from Arkadelphia High School in 1949. While in high school, she met and began dating Raymond L. Shepherd, who was four years her senior. An infantryman in the U.S. Army, Raymond, who was also a native of Arkadelphia, had recently returned from serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was attending Ouachita Baptist University. The two married on April 7, 1950. With Margie’s support, Raymond continued both his military and academic careers. Their first child, a daughter, was born August 22, 1952, while Raymond was serving overseas during the Korean War.
The couple moved to Auburn, Alabama, in March 1960 for Raymond to pursue his doctorate at Auburn University. They also expanded their family, adding sons on November 3, 1956, and January 16, 1961. Following graduate school, Raymond received a job working for the USDA on Auburn University’s campus and the family officially made Auburn their home.
While she never attended college or had a career outside the home, Margie considered her job to be the ultimate helpmate and partner for Raymond as he pursued his career. She was the consummate homemaker, wife and mother. When she wasn’t attending to her domestic duties, Margie could often be found listening to her records, playing hymns on the piano or sewing. She was a prolific seamstress and sewed many dresses for herself, her daughter, and her granddaughters over the years. She also quilted and made each grandchild a beautiful handmade quilt that each received as a wedding gift.
Devout Christians, Margie and Raymond were longtime members of Lakeview Baptist Church, where Margie taught 5-year-old Sunday School for many years. They enjoyed attending Auburn University sporting events together and were season-ticket holders for football and basketball. Margie loved cheering on the Auburn Tigers and continued to watch them compete even after she was home-bound.
She loved puzzles and games and never missed a chance to try the daily Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper until her dementia rendered her unable. She also loved watching Wheel of Fortune every night and made sure to be finished with dinner in time to turn on the television at 6:30 p.m. to watch. She enjoyed traveling throughout her adult life, and she and Raymond planned a beach trip each summer to spend time with their 3 children and their families.
Margie was an amazing home cook, and she loved serving her family, which typically involved preparing them delicious homemade meals, particularly during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. She always made her signature chocolate chip cookies for special occasions or to welcome out-of-town guests.
Her absolute pride and joy were her 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, who called her Mam-ma. She loved attending their activities and events, graduations and weddings. She was their biggest cheerleader, and they were her biggest fans. She was the happiest when her home was filled with family – she was the yarn that knit them all together.
Margie is preceded in death by her parents James R. and Gertrude Todd Jones; her brother James E. Jones; nephews and niece Scott Jones, Jim Jones and Stacy Ellison; and her husband of 65 years Raymond Lee Shepherd.
She is survived by her sisters and brothers Kathryn Slatton, John David Jones (Velma), Billie Jean Croft, and Charles Douglas Jones (Sheryl), and numerous nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by her three children: Barbara Shepherd McCormack (Tom), Raymond Lee Shepherd Jr. (Kathy), and Joe Frank Shepherd (Terri); ten grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren: Katie McCormack Wilder (Neil), Margie Grace, Will, and Shepherd Wilder; Laura McCormack Carlson (Glen), Taiga and Jasper Carlson; Rachel Shepherd Graff (Joey), Micah and Makena Graff; Ashley Shepherd Bordelon (Brett), Cameron and Kendall Bordelon; John McCormack (Beth) and Charlotte McCormack; Leigh-Ann Shepherd, Raylee and Davi Mae Brooks; Lauren Shepherd Price (Blake); Josh Shepherd (Elise), Cannon and Lillian Shepherd; Rebecca Shepherd; and Jake Shepherd.
Heartfelt thanks to Tamela Brown and Shirley Finley for the loving care they provided, particularly in Margie’s final days; and special thanks to Bernice Jackson.
Visitation will be Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. at Memorial Park Cemetery in Auburn with Pastor Cliff Knight officiating.
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