Marion Russell Gray Shepp Waltham, MA Marion Russell Gray Shepp, sister of Jane Gray Buchanan and aunt of Stephen (Steve) Gray Buchanan of Nashville, died at Waltham Crossings in Waltham, MA on Oct. 8, 2016. She was born in Waverly, TN on Feb. 4, 1928 to Marion (Anderson) and Joseph Alexander Gray, Jr., principal of the Waverly Elementary School for 30 years. A talented musician, her early training began at Ward-Belmont Conservatory, Nashville, at age 8 with violinist Kenneth Rose and pianist Lawrence Goodman. She attended Oberlin Conservatory, Ithaca College, and SUNY-Purchase NY, where she studied organ under renowned organist Anthony Newman. After her marriage to Allan Shepp in 1947 in New York City, they lived in Ithaca, NY and Ottawa, Canada before settling in Lexington, MA, where she taught piano privately and at the Longy School of Music, Boston for many years. She served as organist for Lincoln Congregational Church, Lincoln, MA and at the Follen Unitarian Church in Lexington. She concertized widely in New England, playing piano, harpsichord and organ, both as a soloist and with chamber groups. Still very much involved with music, she established a new career in mid-life as a computer programmer, working for Digital and SofTech, Inc. Marion was active as a volunteer in the field of mental health over a period of many years, serving on boards of the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health and receiving rewards for her service. She was a loyal volunteer at Lahey Clinic, served on the board of Gateway Arts and as a Group Leader at Tufts Univ. Institute for Lifelong Learning. She was an avid reader, particularly enjoying her "Witches Book Club" in Lexington. Nature was an important part of her life, both as an observer and as a gardener. She loved animals, growing up with pets that ranged from cats, dogs, rabbits, ducks, birds, goats, and a pony and later in life developing a deep affection for her dog "Sammy." Her grandson Alex was the highlight of her last years. Marion loved adventure, traveling widely with her husband and with her sister. Blessed with a particularly amiable disposition, she was cherished by a host of friends and family alike. She was a devoted family member; her role as wife and mother always came first in her full life. Marion is survived by her husband of 69 years, Allan Shepp, son Russell Gray Shepp (Hong Gu) of New York City, daughter Susan Anderson Shepp, of Waltham, sister Jane A. Gray Buchanan (Joel, Sr.) of Nashville, grandson Alexander Shepp, NYC, and several nieces and nephews, including Stephen Gray Buchanan, Nashville, and Dr. Joel R. Buchanan, Jr. of Madison, WI. She was pre-deceased by her parents and her brother, Dr. James Walker Gray. A Memorial Service will be celebrated at Follen Church in Lexington at a later date (to be announced). Private interment Westview Cemetery, Lexington, with Douglass Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
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