Wilhelmina SHEPPARD

Wilhelmina Anna Maria Sheppard, born as Wilhelmina Anna Maria Rutten, passed away peacefully on September 29, 2023, with her loving family by her side. She is survived by her daughter Alexandra (Graham), her son George (Dale), and her grandson William (Erin). Willemien was preceded in death by her beloved husband Douglas in 1987. Despite never remarrying, she dedicated her life to her family and embraced every moment. Willemien endured the hardships of World War II, which left her with a deep appreciation for the power of food to solve any problem. Her hospitable nature led her to always offer meals to her children’s friends. She had an exquisite taste and enjoyed Chanel No5, fine furniture, linens, and music.

The greatest joys in Willemien’s life came from the presence of the little boys who filled her world with purpose and meaning. Whether it was her brother, nephew, son, or most importantly, her grandson William, they brought immense joy to her life. Her unwavering support was also extended to her daughter, whom she stood by through every trial and triumph. Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, she had a passion for ballet, horseback riding, and spent time in the UK to learn English. She began her career at Vroom & Dreesman’s accounting office before landing her dream job at the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, where she met Douglas and left her birth country behind. Although she would spend the remainder of her life in Canada, she never let go of her Dutch citizenship or heritage.

Despite being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Willemien lived a fulfilling life for an astonishing 47 years. She refused to let her condition hinder her from indulging in life’s pleasures. The family expresses deep gratitude to the staff and residents of Grandview Capital Care, where Willemien found a home and caring environment for the past 2.5 years. There, she delighted in singing and teaching Dutch words to the caregivers.

A celebration of Willemien’s life will take place at the South Side Memorial Chapel on Friday, October 6, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. The family welcomes friends and relatives to join them in remembering their cherished memories, sharing laughter, and shedding tears. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Willemien’s memory to support the Douglas M Sheppard Memorial Scholarship Endowment at the University of Alberta. Donations can be made at the following link: [https://bit.ly/Wamsheppard](https://bit.ly/Wamsheppard). Those wishing to offer condolences, share a memory, a tribute, or a photo may do so by visiting [www.SouthSideMemorial.com](http://www.SouthSideMemorial.com).

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