Helen Ruth Shepherd

Honored by:John Shepherd
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Helen Ruth Shepherd was born Helen Ruth Hanson on August 24, 1934 to Clarence O. Hanson and Bertha H. (Griggs) Hanson in Rock Island County, Illinois. She grew up in Rock Island and graduated from Rock Island High School and Western Illinois University with a degree in business education. She began her career teaching at Reynolds High School in Reynolds, Illinois and at Rock Ridge High School in Edgington, Illinois.

On May 31, 1959, she married Leonard Shepherd, and together they had two children, John and Mary, both of whom went on to graduate from Iowa State University (John - '82, Mary - '86). She continued her career teaching part-time at Moline Institute of Commerce and at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois. After the family moved to Dubuque, Iowa she served as a substitute teacher in the Dubuque Community School District and as a part-time teacher at Dubuque Hempstead Senior High School.

Helen Shepherd was a heroine because of the positive influence she had on her family, her students, her church, and her country. She made time to have meaningful, one-on-one conversations with her children so that she was aware of everything going on in their lives. As a young adult she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and went on to serve Him in many ways, including helping with and directing Vacation Bible Schools at the Church of Peace in Rock Island and at Dubuque Bible Church. She was an active citizen who corresponded regularly with her representatives in Congress.

Helen Shepherd was also a heroine when she faced the cancer that took her life atthe age of 42 on June 10, 1977.

We, her children, are eternally grateful for the mother God gave us and for the time we had with her. It is our hope to pass her influence on to our own children.

Submitted on 1/1/95