Iona B. Shephard, 98, ran manufacturing firm

February 26, 2004

Iona B. Shephard, a former owner and president of a Baltimore company that manufactured bottling equipment, died Feb. 19 at Sinai Hospital of complications from an intestinal blockage. She was 98.

She was born Elizabeth Iona Burns in Baltimore and raised above her family's grocery store at Federal and Holbrook streets. She was a 1922 graduate of Eastern High School and began her business career as a bookkeeper for Underwood Typewriter in Baltimore.

In 1925, she became office manager for her father's company, Burns Bottling Machine Works on Kirk Avenue. After her father's death in 1936, she took over the business, which manufactured bottling equipment used by the local soft drink industry.

After the company ceased manufacturing machines in 1955, it continued supplying parts and service until closing in 1976.

Mrs. Shephard, who had lived in Roland Park, was married in 1938 to Raymond J. Shephard, a Baltimore businessman who died in 1978.

She was a member for 50 years of Grace United Methodist Church and active in its Wesleyan Service Guild and United Methodist Women. She was a member for many years of the Women's Civic League.

"She was one mean domino player and had won games of dominoes against several opponents, including a granddaughter, the day before she died," said her daughter, Deborah Shephard Jencks of Roland Park.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St.

Mrs. Shephard also is survived by a second granddaughter.

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