Woodward County Biographies


ORVILLE MALONE SHEPHERD
Orville was born 24 Jan 1917 in Catesby, Beaver Co., OK, son of GEORGE WILLIAM SHEPHERD and HAZEL VAUGHN CRAIL. He died 12 May 1978 in Shattuck, Ellis Co., OK. He married IDA WILMA SPENCER 22 Jan 1938 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Co., OK, daughter of RILEY JOSHUA SPENCER and ALICE MELISSA GUILLIAMS. She was born in Crider, Howell Co., MO.

Orville grew up in Catesby, Arnett area. He completed the eighth grade in school. He was left handed, but when he broke his left arm as a child, he learned to eat and do other things with his right hand. As an adult, he did everything right handed, except write. That was one thing he never could master.

When Orville went to get the marriage license for he and Wilma to get married, the clerk said "go home and get your momma little boy. You're not old enough to get married". This was 2 days before his 21st birthday, but he had to go get Hazel anyway.

Wilma's step-father was Charles Lamb. Her half-sister, Wanda and her friends, all 7 and 8 year old girls, thought that since Wilma's mother and sister's last name was Lamb, that hers was too. They had so much fun teasing her when she and Orville got married. "Oh, now the little lamb has a shepherd to take care of her."

Before they were married, Orville was making $12.00 a week, working at Brook's Radiator Repair in Oklahoma City. For a wedding present, the boss raised him to $15.00. Boy, did they ever think they were rich! The paid $5.00 a week room and board, paid on some bills that he he owed, saved for the doctor bill and spent a dollar or a little more on some fun things. When their first child was born, they had saved enough to pay the doctor in full. The doctor couldn't believe they were giving him the whole $35.00 at one time.

Shortly after their daughter was born, they bought a 1929 model A Ford, for which they paid $50.00. They paid $10.00 down and $2.00 a week until it was paid for.

In April 1944, Orville enterd active service in the U. S. Navy. During his time in the service he served aboard the USS Baham and the USS Dayton. He was in ship repair and served in the Pacific. One of the ships that he worked on was the USS Bennington, which had been damaged in a typhoon. About fifteen years later, he son and son-in-law were stationed aboard the USS Bennington.

While Orville was in the Navy, Wilma packed up their three children and moved to California. She worked at the Mare Island Shipyard in Rodeo until his return from service in October, 1945. They lived in Napa for a time, then moved to Southern California.

In 1969, they returned to Oklahoma, this time to Woodward. Orville bought and operated the Woodward Radiator and Key Shop until his death in 1978. His son David, now owns the business.


Submitted by Donna Dreyer







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