Idaho State Journal, 10/30/12
MONTPELIER — Our beloved mother, sister and grandmother, Julia Margaret Gerber Shepherd Nye, passed away peacefully on October 26, 2012, in Montpelier, Idaho. She was born on July 19, 1915, in Montpelier, Idaho, to Christian and Margritha Gerber. She was the oldest of 13 children. In her own words, "Most people migrate and wander about trying to find a suitable place in which to make a living to find happiness, or to better themselves. I did very little moving about in my lifetime. Everything I wanted as I became older, was right here in the Bear Lake Valley.”
As a young girl growing up in the Sheep Creek and Montpelier area, Julia gained a strong work ethic at an early age. Living on a farm, she was skilled at working with horse-drawn rakes, mowers and caring for livestock to help her parents, both immigrant farmers from Switzerland.
For Julia, education was a lifetime pursuit. Although a basic education was difficult to obtain, she persisted. Her favorite subjects were poetry and literature, and she became a prolific letter writer and journalist documenting family and community histories.
Julia worked as a waitress in Pocatello, Preston and Montpelier, while assisting her parents to support their family.
During this time she met the love of her life, Edward Grenville (Pete) Shepherd. They were soon married on September 16, 1939, in Logan, Utah, where as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they were later sealed in the Logan temple.
Pete and Julia moved to Sharon, Idaho, where they owned a farm and sawmill, raised their four children, and served in the Sharon and Liberty wards. Julia diligently served her callings as ward organist, Relief Society counselor, Primary and Sunday school teacher, MIA (Young Women) and many others throughout her life.
Following Pete’s unexpected passing in 1952, Julia moved her young family to Montpelier, where she worked as a bookkeeper and teller at First Security Bank until her retirement.
In 1959, Julia married J. Vivian Nye living in Paris and Montpelier until his passing in 1969. Julia loved and remembered her many grandchildren as their families grew over the years.
During and after the time that Julia worked at the bank, she continued to serve callings in her church, volunteered years of caring service to the American Cancer Society, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, and served as a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.
Julia’s interests and hobbies included letter writing, reading, family history, storytelling, collecting Bear Lake history, and she is remembered for her delicious canning and cooking, especially her hams. Julia was a competitive league bowler, and had a green thumb when it came to gardening.
Julia will be greatly missed by her daughter, Julie Ann Stockdale; son, Raymond (Edith) George Shepherd; son, Edward “Ted” (Leila) Shepherd; son, Russell (Arlene) Shepherd; sister, Ruth Julian; sister, Lillian (Dennis) Eschler, sister, Nelda Demain; sister, Edna Young; and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Julia was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Grenville Shepherd (1952), husband, J. Vivian Nye (1969), brother, Joseph Gerber, sister, Clara Perkins, sister, Gladys Derricott, brother, David Gerber, sister, Berniece Wilson, sister, Frieda Baird, sister, Irene Swa, sister, baby Gerber.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Bear Lake Manor for their kind and special care toward Julia.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at the Montpelier Second Ward Chapel, 585 N. Eighth Street. A viewing will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., prior to the services. Interment will be at the Liberty Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Bear Lake Senior Citizens Center.