In Memoriam

The Garden Clubs of Valdosta, Inc. are sad to report that we have lost another one of our most esteemed and long-time members, Mrs. Lilla West “Sis” May.  She will be greatly missed.  Her obituary, courtesy of McLane Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia, follows:

Lilla West

April 12, 1925 – March 26, 2017

Resided in Valdosta

Lilla West “Sis” May, 91, of Valdosta, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 26, 2017. She was born on April 12, 1925 to the late William Stanley West, Jr. and Lillia Mae Webb West. Lilla West “Sis” May was the last living grandchild of U.S. Senator William Stanley West, who built The Crescent and was a founding father of what is now Valdosta State University. “Sis” was raised in The Crescent where her grandmother, Ora Lee West taught her the importance of community involvement and advocacy for those less fortunate. This led to Sis’ lifetime involvement in many service organizations. She was very active in the Junior League of Buffalo, NY, and the Republican Party; was a member of numerous bridge clubs and book clubs. Her first husband, William R. Heck was killed in an Army Air Corps training accident 7 days after their son was born. She then married John H. “Jack” May and after his time in the service, they moved to Williamsville, New York with their 2 children. When it snowed on Mother’s Day in Williamsville, she and Jack decided to move back to Valdosta. They were very active in the Republican Party in Georgia and were instrumental in getting Ronald Reagan to Valdosta when he ran for president. They also helped start the Red Carpet program to welcome new officers to Moody A.F.B., and were involved in starting Valdosta’s first blood drive.

She was active in The Garden Club, The Women’s Club, book clubs, was a patron of the arts and a member of the Valdosta/Lowndes County Historical Society. She was a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She worked for a while at the Valdosta Daily Times, and helped her husband Jack in his CPA firm and at the board of elections in Valdosta.

“Sis” was cherished by her grandchildren and was very involved in their lives. She was very proud of her home town of Valdosta and she taught her grandchildren the rich history of Valdosta, The Crescent and the family’s special ties to the town. She instilled in them the importance of southern values and of being involved in community service organizations. “Sis” would share stories of what it was like growing up in the 1920’s and 1930’s and living in The Crescent. She always taught them to be thankful for family. She was a long time member of Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father; her first husband, William Ray “Bill” Heck; her second husband, John H. “Jack” May; her brother and sister-in-law, William S. “Bill” and Laura West; her brother and sister-in-law, Horace R. “Buddy” and Dot West; her son, William R.H. “Bill” May and her great granddaughter, Avery Lynne Templar. She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn M. “Lynne” Voigt and husband Wayne; her 3 granddaughters, Melissa V. Templar and husband Jon; Lalli M. Barney and husband John; Kimberly S. Voigt; and 4 great grandchildren, Nathanael W. and Sydney M. Barney; Hailey N. and Addison L. Templar plus other nieces, nephews, and many friends.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 8th, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Carson McLane Funeral Home. The family will receive visitors prior to the service from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. A reception will follow the service in the kindergarten house behind The Crescent, 904 North Patterson Street, Valdosta from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Following the reception the family will proceed to Sunset Hill Cemetery for committal in the West Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Crescent at Valdosta Garden Center, 904 N. Patterson Street, P.O. Box 2423, Valdosta, GA 31604-2423 or a charity of your choice. Condolences to the family may be conveyed at Carson McLane Funeral Home.

The Garden Clubs of Valdosta, Inc. are sad to report that we have lost one of our most esteemed and long-time members, Mrs. Edith Shepherd.  She will be greatly missed.  Her obituary, courtesy of McLane Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia, follows:


Edith Vaughn Shepherd

March 31, 1925 – December 7, 2016
Resided in Valdosta, GA

Edith Maude Catharine Vaughn Shepherd passed away December 7, 2016 after a brief illness. A Georgia resident since 1958, Edith spent most of her life in Valdosta, but lived in Atlanta from 1995 until 2006.

Born March 31, 1925 in Shreveport, Louisiana, she was the daughter of Col. Sidney Joseph Vaughn, Sr. and Maude Sterns Watkins Vaughn. Her husband of 34 years, David Brock Shepherd, preceded her in death.

Edith spent 27 years in public relations at Valdosta State University, retiring as the Public Relations Director. Edith was a vibrant member of her communities with a wide range of interests and activities. In Atlanta, she was a parishioner at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur, where she was employed as Parish Administrator, played in the bell choir, coordinated the deaf ministry and served on the flower guild. For many years, she was an active member of Park Avenue United Methodist Church, Valdosta, where she raised her children, before joining Christ Episcopal Church there. At that parish, she mentored incoming Daughters of the King. Edith held membership and many leadership positions in Atlanta Jasmine Garden Club, the DeKalb Federation of Garden Clubs, the Valdosta Holly and Camellia Garden Clubs, and district, state, and national level garden clubs. Edith loved the home of Valdosta Garden Clubs, The Crescent, and was a former member of its board. She was particularly proud of being a Master Flower Show Judge and Certified Garden Consultant and a lifetime member of National Garden Clubs. In recent years, Edith enjoyed membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Daughters of the American Colonists.

Along with her parents and husband, Edith was predeceased by her twin brothers, Sidney Joseph Vaughn, Jr. and Francis John Vaughn. Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law Sydney Shepherd Cleland (Craig) of Atlanta, Mary Shepherd Kuntz (Charlie) of Valdosta, and Melody Shepherd Marshall (Richard) of Suwanee, Georgia, her grandchildren Maxwell Marshall (Brittany), Cammy Marshall, Lucy Cleland, and Henry Cleland, one great-grandchild, Brecken Marshall, and her sister Martha Vaughn Smith of Hendersonville, North Carolina, a sister-in-law, three nieces, and a nephew.

Her life will be celebrated on Sunday, December 11, at 2 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta, with internment in the church’s Memorial Garden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Garden Center, Inc., P. O. Box 2423, Valdosta, Georgia, 31604