Jean Shepard

Born in Pauls Valley, OK on November 21, 1933

Departed on September 25, 2016 and resided in Hendersonville, TN

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Ollie Imogene (Jean Shepard) Birchfield, age 82 of Hendersonville passed away early Sunday Morning.

She was born on November 21, 1933 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. She was one of ten children that helped on the family farm. When she was just eleven years old her family moved to Visalia, California, about 100 miles north of Bakersfield.

From an early age, she started singing with her siblings at church on Sunday. It became such a passion that during high school she and four other young ladies formed a band called “The Melody Ranch Girls” playing gigs around town.

In 1952, she had the opportunity to sing with Hank Thompson during a concert that was near her home. He was so impressed that several months later after hard work on both their parts Ms. Shepard was signed to Capitol Records.

Ms. Shepard had a rough start with her singing career, with there being only a few solo female artists at that time. It wasn’t until she recorded a duet with Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter” that things started to change. The song would spend six weeks atop the country charts and hit No. 4 on the pop charts. It was the only No. 1 song of her career however it sold more than one million records.

She teamed up with Ferlin Husky and would begin learning many invaluable lessons about the country music industry. In November of 1955, at the age of just 22 she was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. She would join Kitty Wells and Minnie Pearl being the only women at the time that were Members of the Grand Ole Opry.

She met her first husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins, during her time on the “Ozark Jubilee” program. They started touring together and in November of 1960 married on the stage of a Wichita, Kansas auditorium. The couple welcomed their first son, Don Robins in 1963 and where expecting their second child the late spring of 1963 when Hawkins plane crashed and left her eight months pregnant and raising a toddler. Just weeks after the death of Hawkins, she gave birth to Harold Franklin Hawkins II.

In 1968 she married musician Benny Birchfield and would welcome her third son, Corey Birchfield just a year later.

In the early 1970s, she made the move from Capitol Records to United Artists, where she remained until 1977. She released her last single “Too Many Rivers,” in 1981 and was known throughout her career as an outspoken opponent of pop-country music.

Ms. Shepard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. At the press conference announcing that year's inductees, Hall of Famer Brenda Lee said that this induction was “way too long in coming. She busted down the doors.”

On Nov. 21, 2015, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated Jean Shepard’s 60th anniversary as a member; she was the only female member to have reached the six-decade mark. Shepard is the longest-running member of the Opry at this time, and had appeared on the show into her 80s. She was also a published author, having released her engaging memoir, “Down Through the Years,” in 2014.

Shepard will forever be remembered as a pioneer for women in country music. Her 1956 LP, “Songs of a Love Affair,” featuring songs about a marriage broken up by adultery, was one of the genre's first concept albums, and other gutsy, forthright recordings such as “Act Like a Married Man” helped to pave the way for artists like Loretta Lynn.

Shepard leaves behind Benny Birchfield, her devoted husband of nearly 50 years, three sons and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held Friday September 30, 2016 at 1pm in the chapel of Hendersonville Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Hendersonville Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held on Thursday September 29, 2016 from 12pm-8pm and on Friday September 30, 2016 from 11am-1pm at Hendersonville Funeral Home 353 E Main St Hendersonville, TN 37075 615-824-3855 hendersonvillefh.com

169 Comments to Mrs. Jean Shepard

  1. Tracey K Houston
    September 26, 2016 7:06 pm

    Jean was and is a huge influence in my music, and I listened to her music ever since I was a little tyke… old enough to remember. I am heartbroken at the loss of this great lady. She was always so very straightforward, she would shoot straight from the hip, no-holds-barred, yet she was always very kind to me. I loved her to pieces and probably always will.
    Rest In Peace Jean. You are missed greatly. <3

    • Annie Rutledge
      September 26, 2016 11:12 pm

      Rest in peace you were a great entertainer you will be missed

    • mr.and mrs.lucky lattea (ohio)
      September 27, 2016 9:55 am

      rest in peace really loved all your music praying for family

    • Evelyn Totty
      September 27, 2016 10:58 am

      I LOVED MISS JEAN and her MUSIC. May she Rest In Peace. Prayers to her family.

    • Steve
      September 27, 2016 12:42 pm

      Your interpretation of Bill Andersons Tip of My Fingers will live on. Blessings.

    • Michael J Jones
      September 27, 2016 9:34 pm

      jean Shepard was a great person I am very sorry about your loss seen her in 2002 I hope vince gill sang go rest high on that moutain. Our thoughts and prayers go out to family

    • TEXAS JIM KNIGHT HOPKINSVILLE KY
      September 28, 2016 3:51 pm

      DEAR FAMILY OF JEAN SHEPARD SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR LOS I SEEN HER A FEW TIMES IN NASHVILLE AND ENJOYED HEAR MUSIC. GOD BE WITH YOU ALL HAPPY TRAILS AND GOD BLESS SHE WILL BE MISET.

    • Pat and Al Halterman and family
      September 29, 2016 10:30 pm

      Jean you have been a wonderful friend for over 40 years. We had great times together at home and on the road. Our family was blessed to know you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bennie, Donnie, Hawk and Corey. Our loss is heaven’s gain. It now has a great singer and yodeler. Miss you!

    • michael ball
      October 14, 2016 11:39 am

      Jean was outspoken in all the right ways concerning the changes in Country music, out spoken with a truth and love of the genre, so close to all the hearts that loved the development to a truly international and commercial vehicle, from the hayseed to the utterly acceptable hit parade songs of the 50s and 60s. Her deep love of the material, songwriters and performers, conveying melody to a standard that is lacking today was always evident. With a voice as clear as crystal, recognised instantly, she has left a mark like no other. I loved her outspokenness, because she cared about the genre,
      Jean, you were fortunate to not be afraid to say what you feel, always conveying the wishes of millions. Heaven is now your home.

  2. Larry & Margaret Teague
    September 26, 2016 7:09 pm

    Jean will be missed by so many! So talented and so gracious to her fans.

  3. Mark Davis
    September 26, 2016 7:38 pm

    Hawkshaw,Donnie and entire family. Jean was an angel. I respected her because she told you how it was. I had the opportunity to meet her a few times
    Great lady. She will leave a void that will never be filled. My wife and i will come up for visitation to psy our respects. God bless

    • Brandy Jubilee
      September 27, 2016 11:49 pm

      All her fans and friends along with the family will always love Jean Shepard, We didn’t loose her, we know right where she is at. She went home to heaven to be with our Lord. We will see here again someday. How beautiful heaven must be,,,

  4. Bruce Collins
    September 26, 2016 7:43 pm

    Mrs. Jean will be forever missed , we loved you .

  5. Jenny
    September 26, 2016 7:45 pm

    My condolences for her family and friends for your great loss. She was a very talented woman. May she RIP.

  6. Rachel
    September 26, 2016 8:26 pm

    Sing on, Miss Jean! You were so cherished by your fans. You made a difference in our lives. We love you.

  7. Kim
    September 26, 2016 8:55 pm

    Heaven as another beautiful angel while here on earth a lot of broken hearts. We will forever miss and love you. RIP . And To her family my heart hold you tight in my prayers tonight.

  8. Valerie Halliburton
    September 26, 2016 9:03 pm

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. May God wrap his arms around each of the family & give them comfort.

  9. Bill Seamster
    September 26, 2016 9:17 pm

    To the family of Jean Shepard. First of all, condolences to you in the loss of this beautiful lady. Secondly, thank you for sharing her with us all these years. She was such a blessing to so many people, and she will be forever remembered an one of the Grand Ladies of country music.

  10. Vikki Rochester
    September 26, 2016 9:21 pm

    Prayers to her family and friends. What a Grand Lady in every way. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. I loved watching you perform and you were always so kind to the fans like myself. Another beautiful voice is in the Choir in Heaven. God Bless you!

  11. Sheila Nichols
    September 26, 2016 9:34 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Mrs. Jean’s passing! My thoughts and prayers are with family and friends!

  12. kenny gerald
    September 26, 2016 9:39 pm

    Prayers go out to the family,you ALL are in my thoughts and prayers at this time of great loss..Country Music and the Opry has lost another Legend and Pioneer of TRADITIONAL country music that she so loved..Ms.Jean was a very,very sweet Lady who loved her fans and her fans loved/love her very much.This is a very sad loss..But Ms.Jean will forever live in our hearts,minds and souls.She left us with her music and that can never be taken away.Thank you Ms.Jean for being so loving and caring to your fans.You were and are a Great Lady not only of the Grand ole Opry but also in life.May God Bless you all.Love you Ms.Jean…What a gal and a trooper!..you will be sorely missed.

  13. David
    September 26, 2016 9:42 pm

    Briliant outstanding entertainer she will
    Be missed peace to family anf friends, Colleagues.

  14. Randal Bridges
    September 26, 2016 9:55 pm

    Sad To Hear Of Mrs Jean Shepard’s passing. A great lady of true country music. I saw Jean in concert as a 4 year old in 1967. I had a broken arm at the time and Jean signed my cast. I still have that section of the cast. I saw Jean several times at The Grand Ole Opry. My prayers are with Jean’s family & friends. God Bless!

  15. edward judy aker
    September 26, 2016 9:57 pm

    We love her very much

  16. Joyce
    September 26, 2016 9:57 pm

    Thanks Jean. I have followed you from your first record. You were and are one in a million.

  17. Rhonda Blair
    September 26, 2016 9:58 pm

    Gone but not forgotten R.I.P. Jean

  18. Vicki Keeton (Miss V Music)
    September 26, 2016 9:59 pm

    Love and prayers to her family.

  19. Thelma Riggins
    September 26, 2016 10:05 pm

    I grew up with her singing loved to hear her she will be missed by all so sorry for your lost,may God bless you

  20. EDWARD,JUDY PATRICK
    September 26, 2016 10:10 pm

    SENDING OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY,CONDOLENCES TO HER FAMILY,FRIENDS.I GREW UP LISTENING TO JEAN.SHE IS A LEGEND,WAS TRUE COUNTRY MUSIC.PRAYING FOR PEACE,COMFORT,STRENGTH IN YOUR TIME OF LOSS…..GOD BLESS Y’ALL……

  21. Karen
    September 26, 2016 10:13 pm

    Sorry sbout your loss praying for all your family

  22. Gary Holmes
    September 26, 2016 10:15 pm

    I met Jean & her husband in Lancaster PA & saw her in person & of course on tv many times on the Opry. She will be so missed. God bless you all with special memories & the Peace of Jesus at this sad time. My Mom just went to Heaven too. Gary Holmes, Elkton, Maryland.

  23. Patricia Heape
    September 26, 2016 10:16 pm

    Jean Shepard will always be remembered as one of the truly greats of country music, she is a favorite of mine and has been for a very long time. Prayers for her family.

  24. Clayton Clark
    September 26, 2016 10:19 pm

    Dear Benny Birchfeild, Harold Hawkins Jr, Don Hawkins and Corey Birchfeild
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife and mother she was a wonderful lady who could sing, I was a big fan of hers i will miss her always.

  25. linda getchel
    September 26, 2016 10:26 pm

    she was indeed the grand lady of the opry……i had the privilege of seeing her in person many times and each time i was totally impressed…..grew up listening to her music….loved it and her almost my entire life……sending good thoughts to the family…….jean will never be forgotten………

  26. Evelyn H. Parrish
    September 26, 2016 10:27 pm

    Such a talented and special lady. She was one of the best. My condolences to her family. She will sure be missed in the country music world. A great lady.

  27. Judy Longworth
    September 26, 2016 10:27 pm

    Jean was a true country singer and a grand lady. My thoughts and prayers are with her family in their great loss. May God Bless each of you in the difficult days to follow.

  28. Brenda Benoit
    September 26, 2016 10:33 pm

    Our deepest sympathies from Ontario Canada to the family.Such a very talented and special lady who will be dearly missed. .
    Brenda and Reggie Benoit.

  29. RACHEL PENNINGTON
    September 26, 2016 10:34 pm

    PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY,,, MS. JEAN WILL BE MISSED , BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. ONE OF OUR LEGENDS FOREVER AND A TRUE ICON. FLY WITH THE ANGELS AND SING IN THE HEAVENLY CHOIR.

  30. mark hill
    September 26, 2016 10:41 pm

    Jean was such a special person , she always made me feel like family even I was from west coast ACM. When I came to do the CMA Awards she always gave me a hug and a pinch. RIP dear lady, always classy sassy and funny.

  31. Debbie johnson
    September 26, 2016 10:50 pm

    i grew up listening to Jean Shepard i love her music so sorry to here that she has passed away my prayers go out to her family Jean u got your wings when u entered heavens gates want to thank u for your music and songs

  32. Betty
    September 26, 2016 10:51 pm

    Prayers for Jean Shepard’s family. Jean was and is a special lady. We are going to miss her.

  33. Elaine carter
    September 26, 2016 10:53 pm

    you will be missed

  34. Bob Waits
    September 26, 2016 10:57 pm

    Rest in Peace Jean got to meet you years ago at Loretta Lynn’s Rodeo.

  35. Christine Baker
    September 26, 2016 10:57 pm

    Will miss you and loved your songs

  36. DAVID CLAPP
    September 26, 2016 10:59 pm

    JEAN SHEPARD WAS A GREAT LADY OF COUNTRY MUSIC, GOT TO SEE HER BACK 2 YEARS AGO SHE WAS SO NICE SHE SINGED ALL MY LP I HAD OF HERS, STAYED AND HAD PICTURES WITH US, HAD A NICE TIME WITH HER AND HER HUSBAND, THEY WERE A GREAT COUPLE, LOVED JEAN SO MUCH, SHE WILL BE MISSED SO MUCH, LOVED YOU SO MUCH JEAN ,

  37. Fred W Masters & Steel N Country
    September 26, 2016 11:06 pm

    So sad to hear of the passing of Jean she will be greatly missed she will be up there singing with the best of them that we have lost

  38. Carol Peters
    September 26, 2016 11:07 pm

    RIP Jean Shepard. Prayers to Jean’s family.

  39. Tommy Long
    September 26, 2016 11:10 pm

    She was a great lady !!! I got to see her three time and loved every one of them . She was a great lady with helping people to get in country music . In ending all I can say she sing with all the other there.

  40. Ruth Woodward
    September 26, 2016 11:11 pm

    I loved to hear her sing gone but will never be forgotten R.I.P we love you!

  41. Keith and janet black.
    September 26, 2016 11:23 pm

    We will miss you and your music jean shepard ! Gone too soon,rest in peace !

  42. Mary
    September 26, 2016 11:24 pm

    You will truly be missed by so many fans! Praying for all of your family and friends.

  43. CHRISTINE
    September 26, 2016 11:24 pm

    MY DEEPEST SYMPATHIES TO HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS,SHE WAS A GREAT LADY AND A LOVELY SINGER,SHE WILL BE MISSED BY MANY.
    i WAS ONE OF HER FANS FROM THE BEGINING.

  44. Angie Hardin
    September 26, 2016 11:29 pm

    I am praying for you and your family and rip miss Jean

  45. Ruby Duncan
    September 26, 2016 11:32 pm

    Jean will be missed condolences to her family

  46. kathy Hill
    September 26, 2016 11:49 pm

    I loved Jean and her music. I have listen to her about since she started, Seen her a few times on the Opry and Ernest Tub Record shop. Gonna miss her.

  47. wanda anderson
    September 26, 2016 11:50 pm

    I praying for you and your family we miss you jean another country singer gone out are lifes

  48. Marvin Christman
    September 26, 2016 11:55 pm

    My prayers and thoughts are with the family, and the Opry family at this very sad time. Loved Jean and may see rest in the arms of God.

  49. Heather Vinaik
    September 26, 2016 11:56 pm

    Ms Jean Shepard will be missed. She was a true entertainer. She was one of Country music’s best. She was kind and gracious with her fan base and everyone. My condolences to the family, along with my prayers.

  50. Teddy Hawes
    September 27, 2016 12:06 am

    I Went To NASHVILLE in 2008 I went to the GRAND OLE OPRY my 1st night there were 3 artists I REALLY want to see Loretta Lynn Jim Ed & Little Jimmy. Jean was not set to play that night HOWEVER Little Jimmy was sick that night and could not make it Jean Showed Up & Saved The Show remember this was the night jessica simpson made her 1st & last appearance at the opry so when I SAY JEAN SAVED THE SHOW SHE REALLY SAVED THE SHOW from jessica and she also filled in for Little Jimmy THAT WAS THE NIGHT I BECAME A JEAN SHEPARD FAN – R.I.P. Jean You Will Never Be Forgotten

  51. pat and bob bridgeforth
    September 27, 2016 12:19 am

    we hated to see her go weve watched her sence she first started almost, we loved her singing, she will be missed the Lord needed an angel so he took jean, shes in a better place, may god Bless her,

  52. DEBBIE (DONALLY)DOUCETTE
    September 27, 2016 12:26 am

    R.I.P. JEAN SHEPARD YOU WILL BE DEARLY MISSED HERE IN SAINT JOHN NEW BRUNSWICK CANADA WE ALL LOVED YOUR SINGING,THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY…

  53. Phil Allen
    September 27, 2016 12:28 am

    Jean, I was very blessed and honored to meet you a time or two. Once, backstage at the Opry, I chatted with you and you were just as friendly and gracious as you were at walmart. No matter where you were, you were always the same. Thank you for being everybody’s friend and for your wonderful music and the legacy you leave behind! RIP Ms Jean Shephard ! We will all miss you.

  54. Nora stanley
    September 27, 2016 12:52 am

    We have lost a singer and grand lady.But as I look above I know she’s singing with Hawshaw in God’s heavenly band. We will miss her.

  55. Kent McCumbee
    September 27, 2016 1:27 am

    I always enjoyed your music. You were a very special lady. Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry won’t be the same without you.

  56. Terri Lynn
    September 27, 2016 1:44 am

    My heart broke into a million pieces when I read of the passing of such a beautiful, talented and devoted woman. I have loved her music for years and she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

  57. Phyllis Lyttle
    September 27, 2016 1:58 am

    I always likes Jean’s music. I seen her last year on Larry’s Country Diner and took a picture of Jean and Gus. Jean will be missed. R.I.P.

  58. Joe Earley
    September 27, 2016 3:10 am

    Very lovely and talented lady the country music Association and fans lost a great person

  59. Leona Baskette
    September 27, 2016 3:20 am

    You will be missed. Thoughts and prayers for her family.

  60. Larie Hutson
    September 27, 2016 3:25 am

    I grew up listening to Jean on the Grand Ole Opry , she will be missed, My thoughts & prayers are with all of her family.

  61. Brenda Clarke
    September 27, 2016 5:06 am

    My prayers and thoughts are with Jean Shepards family. She was truly a grand lady and country music icon.

  62. Linda Vogel
    September 27, 2016 5:40 am

    Lifting the family up in my prayers and sending much love..RIP Jean Shepard

  63. Linda Vogel
    September 27, 2016 5:42 am

    Lifting the family up in my prayers and sending much love..RIP Jean Shepard..you will be forever in our hearts

  64. Tommy Birnell
    September 27, 2016 6:07 am

    Jean was one of country’s greatest ladies she will truly be missed my thoughts and prayers are with her family

  65. J.T. Thomas
    September 27, 2016 6:34 am

    She was simply put. The best female country singer ever, but more important than that she was a wonderful human being.Mama Jean R.I.P. and THANK YOU for all you did for me down through the years. I will always love and respect you as a artist,songwriter,but most of all as a friend.

    • Bobbie Nichols
      September 27, 2016 7:31 am

      God sent his angels to take another Angel home. Thank you Lord for the time we had with Jean. Loved her music an now she’s singing in the heavenly choir. RIP Jean you’ll not be forgotten as you are a legend.

  66. Jacob Shaw
    September 27, 2016 6:43 am

    Jean Shepard was a true pioneer in country music and a true legend for sure. I had the great pleasure of seeing her in concert a couple years ago and to meet her after the show. She was such a sweet lady, and I won’t ever forget that night. The only thing I can say is what I said to her that night, “Thank you for keeping the Grand in The Grand Ole Opry.” You will be missed.

  67. Carol Ferguson Carol Ferguson
    September 27, 2016 6:44 am

    Loved her honest way of talking to you. ! She is missed already , Rip SWEET LADY PRAYERS FOR YOUR FAMILY FOR THEM TO GET THU. THIS THIS IS A SAD DAY IN COUNTRY MUSIC , GOD BLESS YOU ALL .

  68. Martha Cossey Evans
    September 27, 2016 6:59 am

    you will be deepily missed by all your family and friends,even your fans , I loved her music and her voice , you are up in heaven no longer in pain the lord has heal you,
    you spreading your golden wings around in heaven now R.I.P. Mrs. Jean Shepard

  69. Arthur & Mattie Yearwood
    September 27, 2016 7:09 am

    Rest now Mrs Jean Shepard. Your are in heaven now and singing with the angels.

  70. Carole Kerfoot
    September 27, 2016 7:21 am

    Prayers to the family of Jean Shepard. Have loved her music for many years. Enjoy watching her on CFR. She will be missed but is in heaven with a wonderful country music family. R.I.P. Jean

  71. joanne fulton
    September 27, 2016 7:26 am

    IT IS SAD TO SEE A TRUE COUNTRY SINGER LEAVE US PRAYERS FOR THE FAMILY HER MUSIC WAS SO LOVED BY ALL RIP JEAN WE LOVE LOVE YOU

  72. Linda Rodgers
    September 27, 2016 8:01 am

    Oh the music in Heaven must be heavenly, you will be missed here on earth. How great you were

  73. Diana Severson
    September 27, 2016 8:08 am

    Sad to hear of jean’s passing, what a great singer, she can now sing in heaven with those who have gone before.God Bless.

  74. Carol King Gregg
    September 27, 2016 8:35 am

    You were one of the great ladies of country Music. i will miss you dearly. Sing on in heaven and all those up there will enjoy the lovely songs from the past, The Great Sounds of Classic Country Music. You will always be a Legend. i had the privilege of watching you on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and forever will i remember you. RIP

  75. Timmy Hebert
    September 27, 2016 8:44 am

    Loved Jean’s music from the first time I heard it! She will be greatly missed. May she Rest In Peace and sing with the angels.

  76. Winnie Eckhout
    September 27, 2016 8:58 am

    Jean is flying with the angels now, and singing with our Lord Jesus.. God Bless her family and give them the strength to go through all of this.

  77. Winnie Eckhout
    September 27, 2016 8:59 am

    Jean is flying and singing with the Angels, God Bless her and the family at this tragic time

  78. George & Jan Bills
    September 27, 2016 9:20 am

    We will miss Miss Jean, her magnificent voice, her feistiness, and her Christian witness. We’re sure she’s singin’ and yodelin’ in heaven, and reunitin’ with so many country musicians who’ve gone, before!
    ‘Love to her family and loved ones. God bless y’all. – George & Jan Bills, Liberty, TN

  79. Richard lambert
    September 27, 2016 9:37 am

    Sending my prayers to the family. She will be missed

  80. Rosemary Richerson
    September 27, 2016 9:40 am

    I had the pleasure of seeing her perform a show at the Louisiana Hayride. I have always loved her music. So sorry to hear of her passing.

  81. David Compton
    September 27, 2016 9:43 am

    Deepest sympathies to the family, friends and countless fans of this special lady. Country Music and the Opry has lost a treasure with the passing of Jean Shepard. I always loved seeing her perform on the Opry stage, her yodeling and the way she kept time with the band was always wonderful to watch. Rest in Peace Miss Jean!

  82. ollie wagner
    September 27, 2016 9:46 am

    i will miss you,loved her music ,she was one of my favorite singers prayers to all your family

  83. Deborah Moody
    September 27, 2016 9:51 am

    There’s a Jubilee going on and Jeannie is in it ! I live in Visalia, Ca. And we always claimed Jeannie no matter that she no longer lived here. Prayers of comfort and peace for all of the family and loved ones.

  84. Barbara McCrumb
    September 27, 2016 10:13 am

    Rest in peace sweet lady. You paved the path for all female country artists. You will forever be missed. Until we meet again in eternity, Lord give this lady a very special place in heaven.

  85. Darlene Battles
    September 27, 2016 10:18 am

    Jean, you WERE the LADY of Country Music. You were always the life of the party,even when it was no party. Can’t wait to see you in heaven and hear you sing again. We will always love you and miss you.

  86. Joanne Peterson
    September 27, 2016 10:45 am

    To the family… I’m so sorry to read about the passing of your mom… My husband and I enjoyed seeing her perform at the Opry several times.. May the fond memories you have of your time together, ease the pain you have in your heart…

  87. Mary Jackson
    September 27, 2016 10:57 am

    What a wonderful lady and performer she was. I will always cherish my Country’s Family Reunion” dvds with her in them. My heart breaks for her family. She was one of a kind. Love you Jean Shepard.

  88. may brown
    September 27, 2016 11:08 am

    i love mrs. Jean Sheppard. such a beautiful singing voice. very sweet lady. praying for the family. god bless. r.i.p.

  89. may brown
    September 27, 2016 11:11 am

    i loved mrs. Jean. sweet lady. i loved her beautiful voice. praying for the family. ly Jean.r.i.p. god bless

  90. Sandra masengill
    September 27, 2016 11:35 am

    Jean Shepherd you paved the way for for the ladies of country music.your voice was so magnificent. To hear you sing Dear.John brought tears to my eyes.!! You will forever be missed.go rest high on that mountain…we will all ways love you and missed your beautiful voice.

  91. Lorena Farmer
    September 27, 2016 12:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your music with all the fans. Prayers for peace and comfort for the family at this difficult time.

  92. Joey Miskulin
    September 27, 2016 12:18 pm

    Thank you for your friendship, sweet lady. I’ll miss you, but I’m confident we’ll meet again. Rest In Peace.

  93. Rick Alleman
    September 27, 2016 12:18 pm

    Benny and family,
    So sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. You all have my deepest sympathy.
    Jean was one of my favorites. I seen her 2 times at The American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA. She was one of a kind! I will miss her.

  94. Emy joe Bilbrey
    September 27, 2016 1:24 pm

    What a sweet & funny lady Jean was to me! You always knew where she stood in her thinking!! I loved her spunk and her friendship –we will miss her at Larry’s Country Diner and the Country Family Reunion. Hugs to Hawk & Corey !

  95. Pat H.
    September 27, 2016 1:32 pm

    She was no “Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar) she help Kitty Wells knock down the door for woman before Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn and Tammy and Dolly did, there would not been them if not for her. God gain one of the biggest voice in Country Music this week. he must love old country music because he been taking home the best first God Bless You Jean and your family too

  96. Troy Young
    September 27, 2016 1:37 pm

    Another great Country Legend gone from us. She was a special lady, who always told it like it is, and opened doors for many female singers that followed her. My condolences to her family. We will miss her.

  97. Liz Catlett
    September 27, 2016 1:52 pm

    Family, all of you have my condolences! I am so sorry for your loss, our loss of a beautiful, sweet country legend!! We will forever miss you ! Loved seeing you at Larry’s Country Diner , getting a hug, & holding your hand! It was a time I will never forget ! Rest in peace sweet Lady, soar with the Angels ! ??

  98. Tena Watson
    September 27, 2016 1:52 pm

    R.I.P. Miss Jean Love your music will miss seeing u on Family Union

  99. Shelby Land
    September 27, 2016 1:59 pm

    Prayers and Thoughts are with the family..

  100. Virginia
    September 27, 2016 2:31 pm

    You will be missed I always love to hear you sing you are very grand lady .

  101. Lin Jones
    September 27, 2016 2:38 pm

    Thoughts And Prayers to the Family.She was a true entertainer.Seen her at The Opry a buncha times.

  102. Larry Semanko
    September 27, 2016 3:29 pm

    A true advocate of REAL Country Music….she will be sorely missed

  103. Ross Key, Brenda Porter & staff of Traditional Country Network
    September 27, 2016 3:44 pm

    Sending our prayers and thoughts to the family and friends of this marvelous and well-loved woman, Ms. Jean Shepard. We had the pleasure of meeting her several years ago and always looked forward to seeing her at events. She was one of the most outspoken individuals against new country and a stalwart on traditional country music. We will miss her, and never forget her or her contributions to the true art of traditional country. God bless…and go sing high on that mountain with all those who will surely welcome you on the other side.

  104. Mona Faith
    September 27, 2016 4:33 pm

    Benny and Family, all of you are in our prayers. Jean Shepard will always be our ‘Beloved Country Music Star’!!!
    I loved her Gospel songs, too, and played them and her interviews for my Sunday morning-6am- radio show, ‘FAITH FOR LIVING’ on WSM 650 AM, home of the Grand Ole Opry!! Hearing Jean sing “Amazing Grace” is truly amazing!
    Benny, May God bless and comfort all of you!!! Love, Mona Faith and Rev. Gene Fant, Sr

  105. John Tompkins
    September 27, 2016 4:50 pm

    Benny. So sorry for your loss. I spent an evening with you and Jean at Charleston afb in the mid seventies. You two could not have been nicer. I took you to the flight line the next morning to see the C141. I’ll never forget that time
    Find peace in the Lord and God bless you and your family

  106. Shirley Willoughby
    September 27, 2016 4:58 pm

    RIP Ms Jean one of my long time favorite country music singers .

  107. Rachel Osborne
    September 27, 2016 4:58 pm

    Jean you will truly be missed but thank god you will be singing to our god love ❤️ you so so much

  108. Glen (Jim) & Vickie Whitaker
    September 27, 2016 5:00 pm

    RIP Jean. May God comfort Benny and her boys in this time of sorrow. I know she is in a better place, but i know it also breaks the hearts of a lot of people. I had several chances to meet her. My husband toured with her for over a decade.He has so many memories of her. She always took care of him when they were on the road. She always called him Jim
    ( sometimes other names). They always celebrated their birthdays together when they were on the road. I think (Jim)almost thought as much of her as he did him Mom. I will forever be thankful for the memories he has with her and the ones that i have of her. Her songs are so beautiful. RIP beautiful lady.

    Till we meet again!!!!!

  109. Okie Jack Propps
    September 27, 2016 6:17 pm

    Being a country drummer from S/W Oklahoma,I grew up with Jeans 45,s on the old RCA Console. And knowing the Oldhams and Moyers [Jeans Ardmore Oklahoma family]. It was a thrill for me when I moved to Nashville to get to meet Jean. And then an honor to share the bill with her at a package show outside Macon Ga, I was with Billy Joe Royal. But I got to play play behind her on stage and see those trade mark ‘1 4 5 fingers’ behind her back. LeRoy Van Dyke, Rex Allen Jr, Jimmy Fortune, Tommy Cash, BJR and Ms Jean Shepard. I was impressed with Jeans ‘old pro, just plain folks’ attitude and when she learned I knew her kin, Then I was home folks to her…

  110. Regina Shelton
    September 27, 2016 7:22 pm

    To:Shepard family,
    We are thinking of you during this difficult time & Jean Shepard will be missed with her smiling face.

  111. Joyce
    September 27, 2016 7:49 pm

    R I P Jean – she was a wonderful woman and will be miss by everyone, especially her wonderful lovely family.

  112. Liz Watson
    September 27, 2016 7:52 pm

    Jean will be missed! There’s an Angel singing in Heaven now! RIP Beautiful Jean!

  113. Micheal Douglas
    September 27, 2016 8:25 pm

    My deepest sympathies to Jean’s family. I have been a fan since the sixties. I felt like I lost my favorite aunt. I totally enjoyed her singing and watching her on Larry’s Country Diner and on Family Country Videos. I saw her at the Grand Ole Opry. Prayers to Hawkhaw Jrs family and to Jean’s husband Benny.

  114. Burt R Huntsman
    September 27, 2016 8:52 pm

    Rip You will be missed!!!

  115. Dorothy Cummings
    September 27, 2016 9:21 pm

    As a long time fan I was thrilled to see Jean at the Opry and later that night at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop where I got to meet her. She was just as sweet as I had always imagined she would be. Gone but never forgotten!

  116. Jeffery Kriebel
    September 27, 2016 9:41 pm

    Another member of the Opry family is gone. I loved Jean’s music, and I loved seeing her perform on the Opry each week. Her music and spirit will live on forever.

  117. Jeanette Waid
    September 27, 2016 10:30 pm

    RIP Jean, you will be missed.

  118. Victoria Kathleen Eng
    September 27, 2016 10:46 pm

    Jean was a wonderful star and she will always be missed.

  119. Jo stiles
    September 27, 2016 10:59 pm

    Another angel got her wings! Rip Jean, loved your book and your music and seeing yhou on Country’s Family Reunion and Larrys Country Diner,missed you last week! You’ve rejoined Hawk and can tell him about his sons! Thoughts and prayers to the family and all your country music family as well! You will be missed!!!

  120. Michelle Perfetta
    September 27, 2016 11:01 pm

    Rest in peace Miss Jean <3 Thank you for the beautiful music <3 God bless your family <3

  121. Mary McDonald (Oklahoma Fan)
    September 27, 2016 11:27 pm

    Love to all! We will miss the GREAT Ms. Jean Shepard!??❤️

  122. Charles Dillehay
    September 28, 2016 1:39 am

    You will missed very much thank you for your wonderful music may you sing in heaven

  123. Wes Bowmaster
    September 28, 2016 2:23 am

    I have loved Ms. Jean Shepard all my life. I remember as a child helping my grandmother around the house and hearing Jean Shepard playing on the radio. I made it to Nashville to see Jean on the opry only three years ago it took me along time to get there but I am so happy that I did. I will never forget her stepping out on that big stage and filling it with her voice. A piece of me has passed away as well. So thankful my grandmother was a fan of Jean Shepard and passed her love on to me. I hope the family can fined peace in knowing how much Jean Shepard give to her fans.

  124. Rena Tessier
    September 28, 2016 4:31 am

    I have known and worked with Ms. Jean for many years. She was an awesome Entertainer and person. I will miss you. R.I.P. Your Family is in my thoughts and Prayers. God has another Angel in his choir. I am going to out of town and won’t be able to attend the service.

  125. Barbara gothard keister
    September 28, 2016 7:22 am

    From the time I was a little girl I loved her music she will be missed R.I.P. Jean

  126. Danny Tabor
    September 28, 2016 7:54 am

    The only time I met Jean was when she came with Don to the radio station when he worked for me in Scottsville, KY. What an amazing lady….Don and the rest of the family my thoughts and prayers are with you

  127. Fred Millsaps
    September 28, 2016 10:46 am

    I met her once at Ernest Tubb’s record shop, very nice lady may you rest in peace.

  128. Anne White
    September 28, 2016 11:08 am

    She was undoubtedly outstanding in Country Music, but she was Always A Lady on stage, at the Walmart or in her personal circle, she exemplified a life of grace and integrity. She never degraded her profession nor her gender.

  129. John Clukey Plattsburgh New York
    September 28, 2016 12:28 pm

    Jean was a great singer who I have followed since I was a young boy growing up on a farm in upstate new York .I love to hear her sing especialy her song DEAR JOHN. Rest in peace Jean your singing will be missed

  130. Jamie Hall
    September 28, 2016 4:50 pm

    Jean was like a mom to me..I will always remember her telling me that”life is what you make it”…simple as it was..it changed my life forever..my heart hurts for Benny and my “brothers”..Donnie. ..Harold. and Cory…love you all…Jamie Hall

  131. Treva & Jerry
    September 28, 2016 5:43 pm

    Always enjoyed listening to the Opry and Ms. Jean’s music. She will be missed. Our prayers are with the family. Rest In Peace.

  132. "Rooster" J.L.Simpson
    September 28, 2016 7:14 pm

    I have missed you on the Opry,for a while. Missed your Jokes, the one about getting pulled over with your Granddaughter by a Cop. I loved your Voice, your Songs, and seeing you on Country’s Family Reunion, and other Shows.
    GOD’s got something better for you as he has got Planned. R.I.P.

  133. dan chambers
    September 28, 2016 8:01 pm

    rest in peace miss shepard

  134. Cookie Claypool Ohio
    September 28, 2016 9:03 pm

    Prayers for the family ,I was a young tyke when she made you sent her & orchid & gave me a rose ,I was constantly singing it .i met her in 2002 at the Midnight Jamboree …what a privilege that was ……admired her so much …..

  135. Sarah Ahring
    September 28, 2016 9:24 pm

    My eyes are wet and tears are streaming down my face. I heard you were ill, but never thought it would take you from us. There are two things that stand out in my memory as I write this, yet neither has to do with your beautiful voice and songs. The first is….when you stood to sing, your grace and poise were always present, but the thing that captured my eye the most were your hands, they were always placed behind your back and usually with a hankie in them. The next was a documentary about the plane crash where your husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins was killed. You stated that through all the publicity and hype, that the reporters seemed to have forgotten that there were other people on the plane than Patsy Cline. My heart went out to you because your husband was on that flight and yet, very few words were written, reported, nor many condolences given for you and your children. Yet through it all, you were the epitome of grace, kindness and a real classy Lady, from then on I tried my damnedest(sp?) to be like you. I’m sorry the opportunity never arose where I could have told you that you are my Hero…… I love you and I will miss you but I have the records to keep you with me. Thank you for devoting your life to TRUE country music. Godspeed, my friend…..xoxo Sarah Ahring

  136. Franky Nelson S.A.S. promotions Co.
    September 28, 2016 10:27 pm

    A lady of class, gave class to Country music. She was a real person who said what she thought and you liked it or else.
    We are losing so many of our great singers, so sad with the stuff we have to listen too these days.

  137. Nancy Bryant and Ralph Swift
    September 29, 2016 8:15 am

    Benny and family I send much sympathy and condolence to you all. I so miss the backstage “days” at the Opry and spending time with y’all. Jean was such fun and so warm and welcoming. Ralph and I will always remember those days and the memories. Much love to you all and many prayers for comfort and peace…Always Nancy Bryant and Ralph Swift

  138. Gary Mullis DeKalb, Illinois
    September 29, 2016 9:26 am

    Jean will be missed by many fans and friends. She is a good country singer and is loved by many. She is a legend. She and her husband gave me a ride from Nashville Palace to Opryland Hotel when it was raining. May God Bless you… Rest in Peace.

  139. Don Pawlitschek, Minnesota
    September 29, 2016 11:17 am

    As a promoter, our family did 14 shows called Butterfly Stew, with her in the Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin area. What fond memories of a classy lady. How she was upset that Donna Douglas had top billing at the Mason City Iowa, show at the fairgrounds. I said to her, “I can’t help what the fairgrounds did on the sign, but you are the one closing the show!” She came to me later and apologized ; she said that a Christian lady should not have complained. When I fired the sound company at Sioux City? It didn’t phase her. We had a better show after the firing. Benny said it sounded better after the sound company left.
    When I first met her at the Holiday Inn, she was wearing a sweatshirt and baggy pants but when she took the stage she glowed! “Have to give em what they paid to see,” she would say. She didn’t put down the other acts or backup band even when she had good reason to do so. She was a class act that always was a lady on and off the stage. May God rest His hands on her family’s shoulders.

  140. Robin Adams
    September 29, 2016 2:07 pm

    Jean will be missed she was the grandest matriarch of the Grand Ole Opry

  141. Gary B
    September 29, 2016 3:34 pm

    From way way up here in Vancouver BC Canada my condolences to Benny and the boys. My condolences also go out to Jan Howard as this must be very sad for her as well. I personally, think Jean sang better and better as she got older her voice only improved even in her 70’s she was rich and melodic something that few artists achieve, because when it is true talent is truly remains! She was straight forward and would tell it “like it is” no matter the consequences. They don’t make them like that anymore, because the world seem to lack the courage Jean had. Small but mighty! She wasn’t worried about hosting a show or other ways to make money, she was concerned for a particular genre and the preservation of it. Very noble! I always had great respect for that quality in Jean. She will be truly missed.

  142. Tim Shepard
    September 29, 2016 6:50 pm

    To Uncle Benny, Donny, Harold and Corey,

    May God Bless your during this difficult time!

    I’ve shed many tears over the last few days thinking about Aunt Ima. Not only was she a Country Music Icon that will be forever missed, but she was also an Icon as a loving and caring Aunt. I have so many wonderful memories of her over the years while growing up as well as wonderful memories of Grandma and Grandpa Shepard and all the rest of my Aunt’s, Uncles and Cousins.

    I’m so glad that my wife Peggy and two daughters, Brittany & Brooke had the opportunity several years ago to spend time with Aunt Ima when we visited Tennessee. It was great for them to finally meet and spend time with her especially after all the years of them hearing me talk about her and knowing how much I adored her.

    God’s Choir just got a lot better and it makes me happy to know she’s in a very special place. She touched so many people all over the world and I’m so very proud to have been one of her Nephews. I will never forget her and the Precious Memories of her will live on in my heart forever.

    Love you guys!

    Tim (Timmy) Shepard

  143. James Goodnoe
    September 29, 2016 7:50 pm

    You have now joined the angels in heaven. Thank you Ms. Jean Shepherd for the many years of wonderful music. May you RIP.

    To your family, so sorry to hear about the loss of your loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. She was so funny and a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing her with us all these years.

  144. Jennifer Miles
    September 29, 2016 7:53 pm

    Jean Sheppard is in your hands Dear Lord she has passed away welcome her into paradise where there is no sorrow no pain we loved her dear Lord send your holy angel to watch over her dear Lordthrough Christ our Lord Amen RIP

  145. melba honea
    September 29, 2016 8:43 pm

    Jeans beautiful voice will forever be in my heart.

  146. Sam Rigney
    September 29, 2016 8:43 pm

    The Grand Ole Opry,(The Mother Church), Jean’s fans, her family and fellow Country Music Musicians have lost a dear lady. She was more of a friend to us than a performer, she was a true legend to the music she loved. Ms. Jean will be missed by all who loved her. Ms. Jean is now singing with those who have gone before her. Although Ms. Jean is no longer with us physically she left us with her beautiful music and memories we will treasure forever. My thoughts and prayers with her family during this difficult time.

  147. Jeanneane Davidson
    September 29, 2016 8:52 pm

    My deepest sympathies to Jean’s family, friends and many fans. Jean is a true Country Music legend and she will be missed, by all of us. I’m sure her music will continue to bring joy to us for many years, keep singing in Heaven.

  148. Donna Perdue
    September 29, 2016 8:56 pm

    Jean Shepard’s family, friends, and fans lost a true Country Music purist when she passed earlier this week. Jean will be missed by all who knew her. My sincere sympathies to her family, but we’re so fortunate that we have her music still with us,

  149. Faye Morgan & Family
    September 29, 2016 9:39 pm

    I knew Jean and Hawk since 1958. They were great friends to our family. Jean you sure will be missed ! See you again someday.

  150. Mitch Walker
    September 29, 2016 11:05 pm

    Benny – so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

  151. Frankie Chalk
    September 30, 2016 12:33 am

    Really enjoyed her music. Prayers for the family Rest in Peace.

  152. Daisy Lee Finch
    September 30, 2016 5:46 pm

    I enjoyed Jean Shepard’s music, personality and sense of humor throughout the years as a regular listener of the Grand Ole Opry. I share her same views and opinions regarding traditional country music. She was truly a “grand lady” and will be very missed. Thanks for the wonderful memories, Jean. Rest in Peace.

  153. Joyce Browder
    September 30, 2016 8:12 pm

    I loved Jean Shepard. I am 74 years old so I have been listening to Jean a long time. She and Kitty paved the way for all female country singers. Loved how she spoke up for what was right and what was wrong. I wish her memorial should have been at the Ryman where she graced that stage so many times. I loved her on the Country Family Reunion. I just bought her book and read it last week. It was great reading all the stories. Even though she held a place in her heart for Hawkshaw, she was able to go on with the love of her life, Benny Birchfield. Married almost 50 years is an awesome legacy and she loved her 3 boys and all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I am so glad she was inducted into the Hall of Fame before her death. She knew a lot of the greats have been overlooked and I pray this can be corrected.I salute you Jean Shepard. You will always be remembered as one of the greatest country music singers. My only regret is not seeing you in person. God bless and I love you. God’s choir just got a lot better.

  154. Ray Frazier
    October 1, 2016 10:10 am

    Praying for the family as you begin this new chapter in life without her physical presence. She touched so many lives by sharing hers. Thank you all for sharing her with us. My mom was a true fan. I went to school with a son. I now know the loss of a mama. Will continue to pray for your family.

  155. wanda gilpin
    October 1, 2016 11:52 am

    Prayers to the family; Jean was,is and always will be a grand lady; foremost wife mother singer. She represented the Grand Ole Opry for so many years and was finally inducted in the hall of fame after so many years. Jean was outspoken
    but to me that represents country speak your mind. Grand lady wonderful person and a great singer; you will be missed but heaven has gained another great for Hillbilly heaven. RIP you have earned your place in life and Heaven; you will be watching over those you left behind, Love and prayers

  156. Thomas Lee Creamer
    October 1, 2016 4:44 pm

    I’m Gonna Miss My sweet lady Jean Love Her Singing..So sorry to hear her passing.My Prayers are with the family so the lord to touch their heart through this time.I miss my Mom and Dad but we will see them again up there in heaven.I know its not easy to lose a love one.Now she’s up there singing her favorite songs to all those up there.Rest In Peace My Dearest Friend That I love very much.I will still play her songs.

  157. Debbie Pope
    October 1, 2016 7:56 pm

    To the beloved family of Ms. Jean Shepard: ALL of you are so very much in my deepest thoughts & prayers at this time…….I pray that all of your years of precious memories of your beloved wife, mother, grandmother, special friend, & her special Family Country Reunion Family, may you All have memories to last you a lifetime & help lessen the pain…..I have always thought that Ms. Jean was such an Icon to the real/ TRUE country music industry; such a true 1st class talented lady ~that well-deserved to have been in the Hall of Fame many ,many years ago !! I know she is in heaven singing in that fabulous country music choir with her beloved Hawkshaw & so many of her beloved iconic peers of country music; what a glorious homecoming they must have had last Sunday when she was delivered through those magnificent gates of heaven……rest in peace special lady, and save a place for all of us “die-hard” real country music fans…..You will never be forgotten…..Love, prayers, and peace to all of you…… (I Love & treasure her book…..)

  158. Debra H George
    October 8, 2016 12:10 am

    RIP Jean Shepard. Your legacy will live on. Love your music. You will be missed but not forgotten.

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