Celeste was an excellent student, and had many friends growing up. She was president of her high school class for three years, acted in plays and was elected May Fete Queen in her senior year. She was a member of Honor Society along with her lifelong friend from Powell, Mary Elaine Bever Housel. She graduated from Powell High School in 1934.
In 1936, Celeste moved to Cody where she was employed by the National Employment Service which converted to the Social Security system. Celeste received one of the very first Social Security numbers issued in Park County. In 1937, she met James H. Shepard and they were married on Dec. 1, 1938 at her parents’ farm. Jim was a mechanical engineer employed by Husky Refinery. In 1943, the couple celebrated the birth of their son William Kent, followed by Susan Candace in 1945 and James Gregory in 1952.
In 1946, Jim and Celeste became silent partners in the former Dave Jones store. The Shepards became sole proprietors of Western Clothier in 1953. They were partners for 39 years with many loyal customers as their business became an institution on Sheridan Avenue. In 1958, they built their dream home and developed a small subdivision naming the street Shepard Place.
Celeste made many close friends in her business and personal life, and showed kindness to all. She was active in PEO Chapter D serving as president twice. She served a term as moderator in Presbyterian Women, and belonged to Cody Junior Playreaders, an investment club, a sewing club and bridge club over the years. She volunteered as a room mother, a Brownie Scout and Girl Scout leader, Jobs Daughters mother, Cub Scout den mother and as Demolay Mother. In later years, she became a Cody Hospital Auxiliary Gray Lady, joined the Historical Society and delivered Rolling Meals with Jim.
Celeste was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother enjoying retirement after 1984 and traveling to visit family with Jim. She excelled in every aspect of homemaking while welcoming many to her home as guests. She was an avid reader and prolific letter writer. She loved her friends, garden flowers, movies, plays, TV and her little dog Lily.
Celeste is survived by her children: Bill (Linda) Shepard, Susan (Andrew) Caraveau, of Cody, Jim (Rebecca) Shepard, of Boise, Idaho; eight grandchildren: Thomas S. Thompson, Andrea (John) Deskins, Todd (Tricia) Thompson, James D. Shepard, Laura Shepard, Spencer (Sally) Shepard, Whitney Shepard, Blake Shepard; 10 great-grandchildren and one due; nine nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Vernetta Kommers, of Bozeman, Mont.
Celeste was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, brother Wilmer Beacock and sister Mary Jean McLeran.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Cody on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in Cody. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, the Diabetes Foundation, Alzheimer’s Foundation, Cody Presbyterian Women and Cody PEO Chapter D Memorial Scholarship Fund.
An online memorial is available at www.ballardfh.com.