Edwina Kight Shepard
September 28, 1918 ~ December 31, 2018
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, cousin, and friend, our wonderful Edwina "Wina" Kight Shepard passed away peacefully at her home in Asheville, North Carolina on December 31, 2018 at the age of 100 years.
She is mourned and missed by her extant family members—three children: Robert "Robbie" Kight Shepard [Beverly Jane Wehking Shepard], Susan "Suze" Shepard Corte [Warren Nolan Corte], Nancy Shepard Metzger Waldman [Barry Neil Waldman]; seven grandchildren: Benjamin David Shepard, Emily Gail Shepard, Diana Corinne Shepard Stephens [Sean Stephens], Bethany Lucinda Shepard, Carson Andrew Metzger [Rachel Langer], Tyler Shepard Metzger, Quinn Diana Corte Papazian [Nathan Papazian]; and five great-grandchildren: Acadia June Metzger, Everett James Shepard Stephens, Arwen Blythe Shepard Stephens, Jonah MacMillan Metzger and Benjamin Mordecai Metzger. She also leaves behind a younger sister, Mildred Kight Henick, first cousin Claudia Brummett, as well as nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Born on September 28, 1918, Wina enjoyed a charmed childhood in Claude, Texas, a small Panhandle town 30 miles east of Amarillo. She never tired of telling stories about her loving parents, Charles Edwin Kight and Polly Mahala Reed Kight, who had a romantic streak that began with their daring teenage elopement. Charles and Polly had five children: Marilynn Kight Long, Edwina Kight Shepard, Charles Oliver “C.O.” Kight, Marquis Reed Kight (who died from whooping cough at 18 months), and Mildred Kight Henick of Fort Worth, currently residing in Houston, Texas.
Polly and Charles furnished their loving home with music, books, and a love for the written word. Wina's father and paternal grandfather owned a successful hardware/furniture store as well as the town mortuary which meant a hearse resided in their carport. Polly was a talented seamstress and superb cook with an outgoing, joyful spirit who tackled life with gusto. She helped the family survive the Depression by sewing and taking in boarders, one of whom was her future son-in-law, Corey Robert Shepard.
Edwina enjoyed long hours with her sister Marilynn at Mama and Papa Kight’s huge two-story home, located conveniently across the street from their own. There were camping trips to the Palo Duro Canyon as well as farther afield to New Mexico and Colorado where their daddy cranked up the Victrola on the river banks; the tunnel clubhouse (No Girls Allowed!) her brother C.O. dug in the back yard that of course eventually caved in; quick jaunts to the movies in Amarillo with their Aunt Mae and cousin Claudia; and an epic journey to the 1936 World’s Fair by motorcar!
Wina married Corey Robert "Shep" Shepard on July 4, 1942 in Atlanta, Georgia when Corey was attending Jump School with the 101st Airborne at Fort Benning. Traveling in war time from Texas to Georgia was difficult and Wina's luggage, containing her wedding suit, did not arrive in time. They were married—she in her rumpled travel suit—by a Justice of the Peace, and afterward went to the movies—the only air conditioned place they could find to escape the summer heat.
Corey had to return to his base that evening and Wina had to find lodging in a strange city. This predicament set up the infamous story of Wina's landlord on Peachtree Avenue NE assuming she'd been abandoned when she never received correspondence from her new husband. Edwina finally sent him a post card dated August 5, 1942 that reads, "Dear Lieutenant— Remember me? Edwina Shepard.” The intact post card has a note on the corner written by Corey that says, "Seigal gave me $10.00 & I went to see her." Turns out he had been writing, but to Peachtree Road instead of Avenue.
Shep parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and later was severely wounded in combat at The Battle of the Bulge, then returning home for surgery and rehabilitation. Wina and Shep were married for 37 years, making homes for their three children in Columbia, MO, as well as Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.
Shep passed away in 1979 at the age of 60. Wina lived alone for the rest of her life, most of it in the home in Houston, Texas that they and their children moved into in 1959. Much time during those years was spent in the company of her beloved grandchildren. She traveled frequently to Ontario, Canada to be with Ben, Emily, Diana and Beth; once to London, England and often to Connecticut to hang out with Carson and Tyler; but most of all with Quinn who was always nearby, allowing her and Wina to create an extremely close bond that continued until Wina's last day when Quinn and Suze were by her side, helping her loosen her bond on this life and let go. Her death was peaceful and pain-free. She was ready and was surrounded by the love she had always elicited in family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike.
Known for her independent and feisty spirit, Edwina was also a romantic, a dreamer who had a great deal of patience for and attraction to babies and young children. She loved books, fabrics, writing, cooking, and politics ("I've been a Democrat since my daddy told me so at age two!"). She was playful, often coming up with ideas for interactive games for the family to play. One Christmas, she brought paper grocery bags of books from her extensive "library" and auctioned them off to the family. She cooked wonderful meals, made us amazing clothes, nursed us through physical and emotional traumas, volunteered to work in local politics, walked 4 miles a day from age 70 to 85, and never stopped pumping out the love that sustained us over and over and over.
The family will hold a private Memorial Gathering later this year in North Carolina. Should you want to make a memorial donation, we suggest Four Seasons Hospice, 571 S. Allen Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731, or any charity or organization of your choice that promotes making the world a better place, especially for people who are marginalized.