John Lawrence Shephard


JOHN LAWRENCE PALLISER SHEPHARD passed away peacefully on the evening of December 24th, 2003 at Coldstream Meadows Retirement Home. John was a long time Vernon resident who is best remembered as a naturalist, botanist, and Curator of the Vernon Museum from 1967 until his retirement in 1984. After retirement John continued on as a volunteer at the museum. His labour of love was completely indexing the city assessment records, a feat which remains unequaled in other B.C. archives. John went on to other projects at the museum that included the indexing of the Vernon News. John was born in Rotherham, England on September 29th, 1924. He immigrated to Canada with his mother, Edna, in 1938, a trip that took over a month by steamer and described by John as “fairly dull except for a few memorable moments while passing through the Panama Canal.” John and his mother arrived in Victoria and later moved to Banff then on to Kaslo where John worked as a government clerk. John and his mother moved to Vernon in 1960. John loved to travel the back roads of the province in search of botanical specimens for his ever-increasing personal collection of dried plant material. Reading and listening to classical music were two of John’s passions. John was also an accomplished weaver. He built his own loom and produced magnificent household articles that he then sold within the community. He was a man of few words but he possessed a brilliant mind. A lovable eccentric, he will be deeply missed by his friends. In lieu of flowers, friends can make a donation to the Canadian Diabetes Association or the Vernon Museum’s Archives. A memorial tea will be held in John’s honour at the Vernon Museum on January 19th between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. All those who knew and loved John are invited to attend.

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