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Monday, May 2, 2016

Pauline Shepherd

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pauline Shepherd
Pauline B. Shepherd was born to Nancy Elizabeth and Martin Luther Barnes on Sept.15, 1917, in Clarkton, Mo. She was a small child, so she had to be scrappy to survive. And she survived in an extraordinary way, with her chin and head held high and her heart and arms open -- not only to her family, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but to the First Baptist Church and organizations in Malden, Mo., to which she belonged for almost 30 years; to countless people in Southeast Missouri; and to several generations of children in the Malden school system who began their education journey on a secure footing in her first-grade class. Mrs. Shepherd retired in 1981, and it's not unusual occasionally still to hear, "She was the best teacher I ever had," or "She was like a second mom to me." When Mrs. Shepherd believed in you or loved you, you believed in yourself. She could do that. She gave and gave, and she never quit anything. Ever. But on Sept. 2, 2007, just two weeks shy of her 90th birthday, her loving and amazing heart had given all it could give, and it stopped. She will so be missed forever by those who loved her.

With only a teaching certificate in-hand, two years of college, and her spunk, Pauline set out to teach in 1937 at Craig Elementary, a two-room school house in McGuire, Mo. She was 20 years old and only a bit bigger than some of the kids in the two classrooms that were for grades 1-6. For the next 10 years, she taught when she could, caught college classes when she could, and then accepted a position with the Malden school system in 1953. She earned her B.S. in 1956 from Southeast Missouri State University while teaching full time in Malden. The rest, contrary to what they say, is not history, but a legacy of a lifetime. She retired in 1981 after teaching at Malden for 28 years.

Mrs. Shepherd was preceded in death by her husband, W.C. "Shep" Shepherd in 1979, her parents, two brothers and one sister. She is survived by one sister, Lorene Guffey, age 97, of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; two daughters: Nancy Witvoet, Cape Girardeau, and Judy Grisamore, Flower Mound, Texas; six grandchildren: Cindy Hodge, Broomfield, Colo., Shepherd Hoehn, Hixson, Tenn., Carrie Hodge, Loveland, Colo., Cherie Kubie, Omaha, Neb., Carman Camp, Memphis, Tenn., and Andrew Witvoet, Scott City, Mo.; five great-grandchildren: Mikayla Hodge, Raef Kubie, Madison Camp, Brooke and Jackson Witvoet; one niece, Sue Dye; nephews Jim Barnes, Ted Guffey, Martin Vinyard, Larry, Ronald, Roland, and Bill Barnes, and great nieces and nephews too numerous to name.

Visitation for Mrs. Shepherd will be at the Landess Funeral Home in Malden on Friday, September 7, from noon to 2:00 p.m., with services immediately following. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the: Pauline B. Shepherd Teachers' Education Scholarship, First Community Bank, Malden, Mo. 63863.