Mary Ann Murphree Shepherd, 87, of Aberdeen, MS died on July 14, 2023 at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, MS after a brief illness.
She was born on November 14, 1935 in Okolona, MS, to parents Edward Lile Murphree and Gladys Dickson Murphree.
Mary Ann attended school in Okolona, spent one year at Mississippi College for Women, then continued her education at the University of Mississippi, earning a Bachelor degree in Business Education. While at Ole Miss she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and selected as a Campus Favorite. After college she taught school in Holly Springs, MS, Solomons, MD, and lastly in Aberdeen, MS where she taught first grade for nine years.
Mary Ann met the love of her life and husband of 66 years, Thomas Banks Shepherd, Jr. while at Ole Miss. They married on May 10, 1957, and lived in Panama City, FL, Solomons, MD, Oxford, MS, and Memphis, TN, before settling in Aberdeen in 1964 where they lived and raised their family. Many happy times were shared with family and friends at Pickwick Lake, boating and water skiing.
Mary Ann had a love of clothing and fashion. After her teaching years she worked in the Doncaster Program and at Henry’s in Aberdeen selling clothing.
Mary Ann was an excellent cook. Family gatherings often centered around her home-cooked meals and desserts with the highlight being the Thanksgiving and Christmas classics made up of family recipes and her legendary homemade dressing and yeast rolls.
She was a faithful member of Aberdeen First United Methodist Church for 59 years, involved in Church Circle, teaching Sunday school, and serving on the Board and various committees. She had a strong faith and looked forward to a heavenly reunion with her parents and others who predeceased her. Her loyal but feisty personality will be missed by her family, many friends, and students that knew her. You always knew where you stood with her, because she was terribly honest.
Mary Ann is survived by her husband, Banks, and three children, Tommy Shepherd (Mary Scott) of Jackson, MS, Susan Sanders of Aberdeen, MS, and Eva Ann Shepherd of Houston, TX, and her beloved dog Rascal. She is also survived by her brother, Lile Murphree, Jr (Patsy) of Oakton, VA.
Mary Ann had eight grandchildren: Banks Shepherd of Winston Salem, NC, Martin (Randle) Shepherd of Nashville, TN, Ashley (Brent) Forrester of Caledonia, MS, Mary Margaret (Brett) Basham of Birmingham, AL, April (Jay) Jacobs of Oxford, MS, Torrie Hardcastle of Houston, TX, Mary Hannah (Andy) Ellis of Leeds, England, and Christian (Astrid) Hardcastle of Galveston, TX.
She also had ten great-grandchildren: Polly Shepherd, Micki Grace Forrester, Thomas Forrester, Charlotte Basham, Molly Basham, Bella Jacobs, Nola Jacobs, Maya Hardcastle, Mikey Hardcastle, and Maverick Hardcastle. Mary Ann loved all of the members of her family and was very proud of them and their accomplishments. Before passing, she said she could not have picked a better family; but her family believes we could not have chosen a better wife, mother, grandmother or great grandmother.
Pallbearers are Greg Miller, Walter Lann, Mike Manning, Edward Mattox, Marty Tucker, Byron Wilson, Ed Sallis, and Chris Smith.
Visitation with family and friends will be in the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church, 300 College Place, Aberdeen from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, July 20, 2023. A memorial service will be on Friday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at the church as well.
Memorials may be given to The Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38803, Aberdeen First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 93, Aberdeen, MS 39730 or the charity of your choice.