Obituary - Sharon Marlene Counsell Shepherd
Last updated 6/5/2022 at 5:57pm
"Her kindness knew no bounds" was one of the many beautiful sentiments expressed to her family upon Sharon's passing in Kalispell on February 3, 2022.
Sharon was born June 17, 1947, the middle child of Clarence and Helen Counsell. Growing up in a hard-working family, she learned the art of keeping a welcoming home ... cooking, cleaning, sewing, decorating and gardening.
Baptized a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Sharon graduated from Flathead High School and the University of Montana with a teaching certificate. She married Jack McKay and they had two sons, Todd and Ryan. Sharon taught in Spokane, Sheridan and Havre.
After her divorce, Sharon met Havre radio broadcaster Dan Shepherd and they were married on June 17, 1977. Soon after, Dan formally adopted Todd and Ryan, and the four of them began their life together.
Fellow educators and students have written, "Sharon was a shining light to all who knew her," "She never met a child she didn't like," and "Forever a champion for kids." Having taught at every K-8 school in Havre, Sharon was a dedicated and nurturing teacher. Both during the school year and throughout the summer Sharon could be found developing curriculum, creating art projects, and designing fun learning activities.
A couple of her many teaching highlights included having a wall torn down and creating a multi-age classroom, as well as taking her students on numerous dinosaur bone hunts with her teaching partner and friend Dorothy Peschon.
"Sharon's entire life was a work of art." From the classroom to her home, and from weddings and special events to painting and scrapbooking with friends - Sharon's passion and talent for art and decorating graced everything and everyone around her. Her immaculate concept of design and space was tailored for each person, class, event, purpose, and area of their home.
Having served the community of Havre for over 35 years, Sharon and Dan retired and moved to Kalispell to help take care of her parents. Family was always at the center of Sharon's heart. She loved being a mother to her sons, and cherished the times with their families later in life.
Sharon is survived by her husband, Dan; son Todd and grandson Ken; son Ryan, daughter-in-law, Carrie, and grandchildren Shane and Olivia. She's also survived by her brothers, Don and Gary Counsell, numerous other relatives and many lifelong friends.
Her heart and soul were her amazing grandchildren. Nothing compared to her love for them. She delighted in their calls and texts, receiving photos of their many accomplishments, and sharing with her "kids." When she could, Sharon and Dan would joyfully travel to watch the grandchildren in their many activities.
Baking and making breakfast for her family were among Sharon's favorite pastimes. She took great delight in coming up with new ways each Christmas to create and wrap presents. Her festive, delicious, and wide variety of Christmas cookies will dearly be missed.
Although distance kept Sharon and Dan from seeing their sons and families as often as they wished, she kept their love and connection alive by creating exquisite and comprehensive scrapbooks for each grandchild.
These creations, Sharon's legacy to her grandchildren, are overflowing with photos and mementos from birth through high school years. True works of art and heart, handcrafted by a very loving grandmother, these scrapbooks will be cherished for years to come.
"The world seems dimmer without her smile, laugh and love of life."
A celebration of Sharon's life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 17, - their 45th wedding anniversary - at Darlington in Kalispell, 3408 U.S Highway 2 East. A reception will follow at Village Greens Community Center on West Nicklaus. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Havre Public Schools Education Foundation.
"Sharon was loved by many, always thought of others first, and was truly one of the most caring friends ever."