Martha Jean Powell Sheppard

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, June 14, 2018

Martha Jean Powell Sheppard was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, April 13, 1935, died in Picayune, Mississippi, June 14, 2018. Martha is preceded in death by her parents, Jessie Lee and Sara Ellen (Shurburtt) Powell.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, William Turner Sheppard, her sons Raymond and Stephen (Christine), her daughter Kanlaya, her sisters Judy (Jerry) and Pat (John), and her grandchildren, Margaret, Katherine, William, and Melissa.

Beloved by her family, Martha was a steadfast Christian, a dedicated U.S. Coast Guard wife, and a caring and compassionate mother and grandmother.

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Among her many civic pursuits, Martha was the president of the Pentagon Wives Club, a founder of the Crosby Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, a lifelong supporter of the BSA, a member of Habitat for Humanity, a longtime member of the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library Board, the president of Picayune Memorial High School’s Band Boosters, a founder of the Picayune Garden Club, a founder of the Greater Picayune Arts Council, and a founder of Picayune’s Centraplex.

Martha and Bill led the restoration of extracurricular activities following the integration of the Picayune’s public schools; as president of the West Side PTA, her efforts ultimately led to the air conditioning of all of Picayune’s schools.

Martha was a passionate defender of animal welfare and was devoted to her many Pomeranians and other assorted dogs, cats, and birds. 

Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Pearl River County SPCA.