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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Valerie Grace Shepherd

Valerie Grace Shepherd

Valerie Grace Shepherd, 70, of Shelter Island, passed away suddenly on Sept. 20, 2019.

The daughter of Bob and Arlene Schweinsburg, Valerie was born on April 16, 1949. Two siblings, Bobby Schweinsburg and Geraldine Schweinsburg Johnson predeceased her.

Raised on Shelter Island, Valerie attended Shelter Island High School, eventually marrying her childhood sweetheart, Gene Shepherd, on Nov. 2, 1968. Valerie and Gene continued to live on Shelter Island, where they raised three children.

A devout Christian, Valerie was an active member in the First Baptist Church of Greenport and in her beloved Shelter Island community. She was consistently willing to help a friend or stranger in need, her family remembered, often anonymously, offering an open heart or just a shoulder to cry on, and was always available to help.

Anyone who knew Valerie understood that family was her life, her family said.

She loved more than anything her dog, Roger, a good chocolate chip cookie and spending time with her many grandchildren. Spontaneous pool parties in the summer, watching Grandpa Gene churn homemade ice cream as children laughed and played gave her the most satisfaction, her loved ones remembered. A fixture of Shelter Island, Valerie will be sorely missed by many.

She is survived by her husband, Gene; son, Gene Jr.; daughters, Sarah and Martha; daughter-in-law, Deborah; son-in-law, Mark; and grandchildren, Tyler, David, Lydia, Emily, Mary, Matthew and Morgan.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Shelter Island Center Firehouse.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation at P.O. Box 547, 12 Manwaring Road, Shelter Island, New York 11964.