It is with great sadness that we announce that Gertrude Mary (Trudy) Shepherd passed away peacefully at the Ottawa General Hospital on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. She was 97. Co-founder of Shepherd’s Fashions with her daughter Marlene, she was a remarkable woman: elegant and strong, hardworking, and entrepreneurial, with an enduring sense of style and a continuous desire for self-improvement, which she sought to pass on to others until the end. We will miss her but are grateful for her long life.
Gertrude Shepherd was born Gertrude Mary Byrne in Ottawa on January 20, 1924. She married and was devoted to Bertram Francis Shepherd, who died on June 14, 1973. Together they owned and operated the Edgewater Hotel along the Ottawa River in Cumberland during the 1950s and 60s. They had three children: David (Eha); Marlene (Francis); and Peter (Terry), who, along with her eight grandchildren (Sydney, John David, Samantha, Caroline, Paul, Mark, Robert, and Rachel) and four great grandchildren (Jessica-Rae, Jolene, Thomas, and Benjamin), all mourn her passing.
With her daughter Marlene, Trudy Shepherd co-founded Shepherd’s Fashions Accessories in 1978, which, 43 years later, has become a very successful women’s retail business in Ottawa, with a loyal following. Together, they put their stamp on Ottawa glamour. Trudy remained a valued business partner and trusted advisor to Marlene throughout her life.
She enjoyed her time with her family, whether at her lovely home in Ottawa, her cottage at Blue Sea Lake, or during frequent visits to Vancouver, where her two sons and their families lived.
During her elder years, Trudy was blessed to have met and been cared for by Mary Ann Arquines at her home and at the Rockcliffe Retirement Residence, where she resided since October 2019. Our family is deeply grateful to Mary Ann for her devotion and many acts of kindness.
A private celebration of Trudy Shepherd’s life for family and close friends will take place, in conformity with COVID-19 restrictions, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Trudy’s memory to the Ottawa Mission or the Salvation Army.
My heart goes out to you Marlene. It is so hard to lose your Mom and partner . She had a wonderful, long life . My thoughts are with you and your family .
Marlene was our neighbour for forty years and I will miss her being there. If I ever knocked on her door it was always held wide open for me to come in and have a chat. We were both business women so were kept busy in our respective professionals. I have great admiration for this lady who with her daughter Marlene first launched a booth selling ladies accessories which evolved into very high end and stylish fashion stores.
Well done Trudy for always looking and dressing the part. You set a high standard.
Doreen (Johnston) Harrod
Hello Marlene. You probably won’t remember me but my family had a cottage just two doors from the Edgewater
Hotel and my brother and I spent many summers as young teenagers, working for your parents at the hotel and cabins and especially for your mom. She was a wonderful lady and taught us how to work hard and take pride in our job. I was sorry to read of her passing but wanted to share this memory of her. You must miss her and your dad very much. Please accept condolences from my brother, Bruce and. I. We have fond memories of our cottage days and working for your family.
John and Martha Edmond
Marlene and Francis - Our deepest condolences on your loss. A life well-lived.
I remember so fondly how your mother came to the Clothes Hut at Elmwood Shopping Center and helped my business partner Ron and I try to get our clothing store working properly. She was so helpful, wise and important to our venture. It was not too long after that you and Trudy started Shepherd's. A truly wonderful person.
Michael Casey and Camille Guilbault
We are very sorry for your loss
Your mother was a great lady.