Henry David Thoreau said, “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” Libby Shepherd, even at 104, was never old because she was always enthusiastic about life and always interested in people.
Born Elizabeth Werner on February 6th, 1914, Libby was originally from Washington, New Jersey where she graduated from Washington High School in 1933. She was active in sports and belonged to the Commercial Club, The Dramatics Club, Glee Club and Orchestra.
She worked at G. C. Murphy Company five and dime store the last two years of high school and had nine months training for nursing at the Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Massachusetts from October 1934 to July 1935. She attended night school at Churchman Business College in Easton, Pennsylvania. After graduation her first office job was at Consumers Research in her hometown of Washington. She remembered when she was called on to run a large machine that spewed out addresses because the workers were on strike. Since she was the only one who knew how to run the address printing machine, they dressed her as a man and sent her in.
During World War II Libby was employed by the United States Navy at the office of the supervisor of shipbuilding in New York - never missing a day for several years because of wartime demands. After her marriage to Jim Shepherd on April 30th 1949 she worked at Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township before taking off 13 years to raise son Ernie. She then went slowly back to work, first part time then full time at Warner-Lambert until her retirement in 1979.
She remained married to Jim for 47 years until he passed away in 1997. They moved to Mine Hill in 1953. Libby was an active member of the Mine Hill Presbyterian Church and belonged to the Presbyterian Women's group. She was also a member of the Goodyear’s Club in Mine Hill, Warner-Lambert retirees, and the International Association of Administrative Professionals Morris County Chapter. She enjoyed attending meetings and special events. She also volunteered at Dover General Hospital until prevented by her failing eyesight.
The essence of Libby can best be found in her interests. She played the piano, to which she credited her typing speed and manual dexterity. Libby love line dancing, aerobics, and swimming. Secrets to her longevity can be found in eating well and keeping moving.
In an early resume Libby listed the following attributes: loyalty, initiative, trustworthiness, courtesy and tact, orderliness, alertness, good health, a good memory, a cheerful disposition, willingness to cooperate, promptness and exactness, good taste in appearance, accuracy, speed and skill. Did anyone catch the one that didn't fit Libby later in life? Although she had the other very positive traits, tact may not have been her strong point. Libby was feisty. She was interested in everything and everyone. She jumped in to ask questions and give opinions. Good for her! She was a special woman, admired and loved by many.
Meeting Libby, you might have thought that she was so enthusiastic about life because it had always been easy. You would have been wrong. She lost her mother at an early age, a husband, father, stepmother, two brothers and others she loved. She had many operations and trips to the hospital. She was legally blind. Yet she had a sense of humor and knew that life held abundant blessings. She was a loving mother and very proud of her grandchildren. The great grandchildren were a joy to hear about.
Libby was us optimistic and positive to the end. At 101, when she was taken to the hospital's emergency room in the early hours, unable to speak and breathing with difficulty, she wrote on a pad that her doctor's appointments scheduled for that day should be cancelled and rescheduled for later dates. She rallied and tried her best at physical therapy. After being taken to the hospital, on one occasion at 103, she seemed most concerned that she didn’t have makeup with her. Yet, Libby was also a woman of Faith. She was in a lot of pain from her fall and was ready to go to God if this was her time. We will miss her. After all we don't come across many Libby Shepherd’s in our lives. We are all better for her example and for her love. But heaven needs her enthusiasm too. We can now think of her with a renewed body and perfect sight, able to sing and dance. God bless Libby Shepherd.
Husband Jim of 47 years in 1997.
Survived by her son, Ernest W. Shepherd of Dublin, OH.
Katherine M. Mills and husband Rob of Naperville, IL and their children; Colin(10), Ryan(7), Kelsey(3).
Rebecca “Becky” N. Limes and husband Shawn of Columbus, OH and their children; Sam(6) & Hudson(3).
Also survived by:
Sister-in-law: Georgie Werner of Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Marjorie Chamberlin of Delaware Water Gap, PA.
Lydia Poller of Glenshaw, PA.
Bev Baker of Carlisle, PA.
I'd like to thank those who cared for Mom during her final years and allowed her to continue living fully. Thanks to her friends who gave her transportation to church, meetings, and other activities. Thanks especially to her guardian angels; Joan & Lee Konetschny, Pam & Bill Treut, Bobby & Neil Schatz and Barbara Munson.
A special thanks to Dr. Sundaram who cared for her health, Sunrise of Randolph (where she lived for over 8 years) and their staff; Leigh Gardner, Bozena, Carol & Sue who made it her home away from home; as well as Compassionate Care Hospice staff of Amy and her support team for her peaceful transition.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Libby’s memory to the Mine Hill Presbyterian Church, 213 Rt. 46, Mine Hill, NJ 07803 would be appreciated. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Visitation will be held 1-3pm on Friday, January 11, 2019 at the Bermingham Funeral Home, 216 S. Main St., Wharton.
A funeral service will be held 3pm at the funeral home following the visitation.
Private interment will be held at a later date.
Mine Hill Presbyterian Church
213 Rt. 46, Mine Hill NJ 07803