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Mary Ruth (Gass) Shephard

Mary Ruth (Gass) Shephard

Mary Ruth Shephard (Gass) Born in Sackville, NB May 9, 1933; died in Truro, NS on Nov 26, 2017.
Predeceased by parents, Joe and Clara Gass (Bury), husband Ken Shephard, son James Shephard, brother James Gass, and son-in-law Jerry Johnson (Holly) Survived by husband Tom Gingrich, and her five daughters and their families: Lesley Fisher (Glen) and grandchildren Joe, Mary James (Neil Fraser), Rose, Lucy, and greatgrandchild Nora Fraser. Holly Shephard (Blair Steinbach) and grandchildren Anika, Eliza, and Britta Johnson. Susan Mawhinney (Kevin) and grandchildren Jesse (Jessica McCarron), Hannah, and Zach. Sarah Shephard (Gary Weigl) and grandchildren Blair and Max. Martha Shephard Duguay (Stéphane) and grandchildren Gabriel and Chloé. The second child of Joe and Clara Gass, Mary grew up in Sackville NB, where she showed her love for music and entertaining early in life. When she graduated from High School she walked down the road to the Conservatory of Music at Mount Allison University, where she studied voice and met Ken Shephard, a handsome pre- med student. Upon graduation, the two were married and Ken headed to Dalhousie Medical School supported by Mary’s work as a school music teacher. Mary and Ken eventually settled in Truro where Ken practiced medicine, and Mary raised their six children, and taught music to hundreds of others. She spent her professional life in various teaching capacities, as the youth choir director at First United Church, teaching at Willow Street, East Stewiacke, and Hilden Elementary Schools, and at the piano in her dining room, where she taught piano and voice lessons and led the Broad Street Singers. She simply loved teaching young people to love music, and this is her great legacy. Mary was a dedicated community builder, throwing her energy and imagination into organizations that provided opportunities for her children and their contemporaries: The Truro Schools Band Auxiliary, Spartans Gymnastics Club, Nova Scotia Gymnastics Association, Community Concerts, NSMEA, and the NS Choral Federation. Mary had sharp wit and a keen sense of style, believing that a little bit of foolishness went a long way and that one should never underestimate the power of a smart navy-blue suit with a crisp white shirt. She loved to live her life in the sunshine, and it was at midday under an August sky that she married a second time with great hope of many southern holidays to come. Those promises had to be broken when Mary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the hope for new memories disappeared with all of the others. Her husband Tom became her devoted care giver for as long as he could manage, until she moved to Cedarstone Enhanced Care Facility. The family expresses deep gratitude to all of the care givers who supported Mary and all of them through this long difficult journey. Mary died peacefully surrounded by her five daughters who held vigil with sanctity and foolishness. Service of Celebration: 2 PM Dec 27, 2017 First United Church, 711 Prince St, Truro N.S. Reception to follow at Truro Golf Course 3-5:30 PM. Family Flowers only. Memorial Donations: First United Church, VON Adult Daycare, or a charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Colchester Community Funeral Home where on-line condolences and donations may be made at: www.ColchesterCommunity.com

“If Music be the food of love, play on.”

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