Lianne Shepherd

Lianne Shepherd died Saturday, May 3, 2003, after a third cerebral bleed in 12 years. She was 40 years old.

Ms. Shepherd was born in 1962 and grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast near Houston. She won high school honors in band and drama, attended college and managed a small clothing store there.

Her parents, David and Jane Shepherd, moved to Vashon Island in 1983 and she followed two years later.

She settled in Bellevue and began working at Thousand Trails and soon was supervisor of their telephone reservations department.

In 1991 she was hospitalized with a brain aneurysm the size of a lemon, an inoperable birth defect that is usually fatal. She fought back from that and returned to work at Eddie Bauer in Bellevue. But in 1993, it bled again. And this time her recovery was more difficult. She experienced short-term memory loss, vision problem and some muscle weakness.

Despite that, she volunteered at the McMurray Middle School library, the Vashon Chamber of Commerce, and Granny’s Attic before becoming a midday regular at SBC.

Throughout her 40 years, friends and family say she blessed all those who came near with light and laughter and she will be missed and gratefully remembered.

Ms. Shepherd was known to customers at Seattle’s Best Coffee and the workers in the Thriftway Deli, all of whom friends say she “harassed unmercifully.”

She was known for loving to work with people. No one was a stranger and no one escaped hearing exactly what she thought — in a nice way, her friends and family say.

Mary Gleb, a retired McMurray librarian, and Sheryl Allen of SBC played important roles in helping her regain an active life after her recovery, her family says, adding that they are grateful to those friends as well as Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, neurosurgeons, nurses at Harborview Medical Center, Rev. Joyce O’Connor McGee, and the others.

Survivors include her parents, her sister Laurie Heath, brother Mark Shepherd, brother-in-law Chris Heath, and nephew and niece Tyler and Maggie Heath.

A memorial celebration of her life will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at Vashon United Methodist Church. All her island friends and acquaintances are welcome.

Donations to Harborview Medical Center are encouraged instead of flowers.

Arrangements were entrusted to Island Funeral Services.

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