Grand Ole Opry Star Jean Shepard Entered Hospice
UPDATE–Jean Shepard died Sunday September 25. (Click link for story)
Country music legend Jean Shepard, 82, who can be truly called a female trailblazer, and is the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry, has entered hospice care after being admitted to the ICU earlier this week. Just last weekend when I was at a country music show in Coloma with relatives on my Mom’s side we talked about Shepard and wondered how she was doing. The news is not good.
Her son Hawkshaw Hawkins Jr. made the news known about the downturn to her fans.
“Thank you everyone for your love and support during this tough time,” says Hawkins Jr. “Sadly, mom has went into the care of Hospice and is resting comfortably. Thank you to all of her fans who love her and are praying for our family. We love you.”
This Grand Lady has been an Opry member for now over six decades, and celebrated her 60th Anniversary on the stage show November 21st, 2015. Previously one of the institutions most active members, her performance schedule had significantly slowed down recently due to health issues.
Jean Shepard signed to Capitol Records in 1952. Her first hit was the duet “A Dear John Letter” with Ferlin Husky. Later she had hits of her own with “A Satisfied Mind,” “Take Possession,” and “Beautiful Lies.” Not just a trailblazer for women in country music, she also had to fight the uphill battle as a honky tonk singer during the genteel era of country music. Later she became a mainstay of the Grand Ole Opry and married fellow Opry performer Hawkshaw Hawkins who died in the same plane crash as Patsy Cline in 1963.
Below is a photo following a show this amazing woman performed in McFarland in the late 1990’s with one of her biggest fans….that would be me. She also signed my guitar.