Cover photo for Marilyn Bebber Sheppard's Obituary
Marilyn Bebber Sheppard Profile Photo
1936 Marilyn 2023

Marilyn Bebber Sheppard

May 2, 1936 — July 14, 2023

Albuquerque, New Mexico

There are some who bring a light so great to the world
that even after they have gone, the light remains.

Marilyn Theresa (Bebber) Sheppard, born May 2, 1936, peacefully passed away at home surrounded by her children on July 14, 2023. She was a very proud lifelong resident of Albuquerque, her family settling here in the early 1900s. She attended St. Vincent Academy for Girls, Lincoln Middle School, and Albuquerque High School. It was at AHS that she met the love of her life, Dwayne Sheppard. She graduated with the AHS Class of 1953. While attending the University of New Mexico, she was active in the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, the Waterlous Synchronized Swimming Team, the Newman Club, and the chorus. She earned a Bachelor’s in Education and taught elementary school for a few years. Marilyn married her sweetheart Dwayne at the Newman Center on June 8, 1957.

Marilyn was a life-long learner, taking continuing education Oasis classes well into her eighties. Her motto was “Always stay curious!” She was very active at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church and Risen Savior Catholic Church for many years. She taught Sunday School, Catechism (CCD), confirmation classes, Marriage Enrichment courses, and RCIA, served as a Lector, helped with Cursillo retreats, was one of the first female Eucharistic Ministers at Queen of Heaven and a member of the Risen Savior Women’s Guild. She welcomed Posadas into her home at Christmas. While raising her family, she was a member of the Garden Club of ABQ and a women’s bowling league. She assisted with Girl Scout and Boy Scout events and Special Olympics. An avid reader, her home is filled with books of all genres, especially cookbooks and NM history books. She enjoyed traveling (New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, England, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Canada). She loved and supported the fine arts. She had the voice of an angel and listened to all kinds of music. Marilyn was New Mexico’s best ambassador! She dearly loved her state, its history and beauty! Her amazing backyard is filled with flowers of every color, birds, hummingbirds, roadrunners, turtles and windchimes. She shared this space for many family celebrations, neighborhood gatherings, and quiet moments with friends. Marilyn was a wonderful cook, her kitchen was always open. She was a bonus mother and grandmother to young families who lived away from their relatives. Marilyn and Dwayne were pioneer advocates for children and adults with special needs, and were active in ARCA. Marilyn had many friends of every age. Most considered her their “best friend.” She brought joy to everyone!

Marilyn will forever be in the hearts of her 7 children, 14 grandchildren, and great-granddaughter. Her children are Theresa Sheppard of Albuquerque, Kathleen Cummings (Brent) of Austin, TX, Dwayne Sheppard (Jackie) of Albuquerque, Lori Sheppard of Albuquerque, Barbara McCulloch (Chris) of Albuquerque, Elizabeth Dunlop (Jan) of Auckland, New Zealand, and Thomas Sheppard (Rosie) of Davidsonville, Maryland. Her grandchildren are Lindsay Cummings, Travis Cummings, Sarah Gurulé (Randall), Ryan McCulloch (Amy Ma), Tyler McCulloch, Sean Dunlop, Allison Dunlop, Bailey Sheppard, Rebekah Sheppard-Hoyer (Pierce), Thomas Sheppard, Abigail Sheppard, Emma Sheppard, Tessa Sheppard, Luke Sheppard, and great-granddaughter Ilona Sheppard. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Jackie Bebber, and nieces and nephews: Laura Dennison (Dan), David Loy (Laura), Sharon Rowan (Dick), Kurt Bebber, Duane Bebber, Gary Bebber (Karen), Charlie Bebber, Kirsta Rizzo (Brendan), and many grand-nieces and -nephews, Godchildren and countless treasured friends.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband Dwayne, who passed away in 1992, her parents Dr. Chester F. and Henrietta M. Bebber, sisters Henrietta Loy (Arthur) and Dr. Ruth Bebber, brothers Chester Bebber, Jr. (Delores) and William Bebber, her in-laws Adelaide and Milburn Ready, brother-in-law O’Dell Sheppard (Beverly), and her great-grandson Archer Sheppard Gurulé.

A Celebration of Life including eulogies will be held Tuesday July 25 at 6pm at Risen Savior Catholic Church, 7701 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM. A Memorial Mass will be held at Risen Savior on Wednesday July 26 at 10am. Please feel free to join us in wearing any shade of blue, her favorite color.

Marilyn was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-love, grandmother, aunt, Godmother and friend. We’ll always remember her blue eyes, her smile, her laugh, her love. When you see the sunrise, sunset and moon, know that she is smiling back at you. Marilyn was a great light in this world!

If you would like, please consider making a donation in Marilyn’s name to Locker #505 - Students Clothing Bank (P.O. Box 94735, Albuquerque, NM 87199) or to Catholic Charities of New Mexico (2010 Bridge Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105).

Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong! Let all that you do be in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14



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