Remarks from Carl Shepherd’s wake, May 14, 2017– Maureen asked me to share a few words tonight. My name is Amy Abbott, and I’ve known Carl for about ten years and known Maureen for nearly thirty years.
The day that Carl and Maureen married was a happy day. I think everyone can agree they each found a fantastic partner.
Carl was, of course, a farm boy from White County. When I met him, we immediately connected as three of my four grandparents lived in White County. My maternal grandfather was born in Reynolds, and my paternal grandparents “set up housekeeping” in Idyville (or Idaville if you are not a local.)
Carl lived a rich rural childhood that influenced his entire life, and he brought these characteristics into his marriage with Maureen.
As a teenager, Carl was an officer in both 4-H and FFA. For those of you who don’t know, 4-H is a national organization, primarily for rural children ages ten to eighteen, that promotes community service, integrity, and learning. The four “Hs” in 4-H stand for head, health, hands and heart.
While it pains me praise that University in West Lafayette, Carl obviously had to have the smarts or a brilliant head to get through Purdue University.
He struggled with health challenges, particularly in the last year, but he kept his mind healthy and active. A good fishing outing, dinner with any of his many special friends, traveling with Maureen (which often including fishing, be it on an Arkansas lake or the Gulf of Mexico), studying the Bible with his men’s group, or enjoying his beautiful yard.
The last two hands and heart fully speak to me about Carl’s life.
To build things is a gift. Carl was gifted.
In all his business dealings, he enjoyed his work and what he could do for his customers. Not everyone is blessed with hands that work in this way. I know he was on the roof of Brenna and Jamie’s garage just a couple of weeks ago, giving his gift.
When Carl died, the doctors told us his heart was large.
His heart had to be that big for all he held dear. His lifelong friends who supported him through Shirley’s illness and other challenges. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who had so many friends and knew so many people. Several days after he died I was having lunch at Jaya’s with several business associates who didn’t really know each other and represented different organizations that had nothing to do with Carl. Both of them knew him.
His love of the arts which was evident in his home and in conversation and in community support.
His family, both his family of origin and the new one he fully embraced when he married their mother. His heart was big enough to become Grandpa Carl to Addie and Michael Dylan, and an excellent stepfather to Michael and Brenna.
Just weeks ago, he stood at the altar of Holy Rosary with the family as Addie made her First Communion.
His heart brought things to Maureen’s life that I could have predicted. Like chickens and an ornery and loud rooster. He encouraged and supported the grandchildren in 4-H and showed up at their events, coming full circle to his own childhood.
Carl was not perfect. I sometimes questioned his fashion choice of cargo shorts, and he often told some questionable jokes.
My father and brother, being graduates of that University in West Lafayette, really enjoyed Carl. I won’t forget one day when my dad called me and said, “You won’t believe who we ran into at the Louisville Sheep Show.” You guessed it, Farmer Maureen and Carl. I didn’t see that one coming.
We will miss you, Carl.