Born on August 13, 1919, in Havre, MT, to Oliver C. and Beatrice Boyle Shepherd, Sister Margaret was one of four children born to the couple. She attended Elementary School and Middle School in Havre, from 1925-1932; graduated from Havre High School in 1936, attended Northern Montana College in Havre from 1936-1937 and Kinman Business University, Spokane, WA, from 1937-1938.
She then worked as stenographer and clerical worker for Continental Coal Company, Spokane, from 1938-1939, Long Lake Lumber Company, Spokane, from 1939-1940, and the Social Security Administration, first in Washington, DC, from 1940-1942, then San Francisco, CA, from 1943-1947.
Sister Margaret entered Maryknoll Sisters at their novitiate in Valley Park, MO, on October 30, 1947 from St. Agnes Parish, San Francisco, CA, receiving the religious name, Sister Rose Martin. Following formation, she made her First Profession of Vows on May 8, 1950, in Valley Park, then worked at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse, Maryknoll, NY, from 1950-1952; at Bethany Convent, then the residence for elderly and infirm Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining, NY, from 1952-1957, and St. Teresa’s, another Maryknoll residence, from 1957 until 1959. She made her Final Vows on May 8, 1953, at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse.
Later in 1959, Sister Margaret received the appointment to Hong Kong which she had long desired, teaching at Maryknoll Convent School in Kowloontong from 1957-1968. She then returned to the United States, where she completed her college education, receiving a B.S. in Education from Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY, in 1970.
She then returned to Hong Kong where, following a year of language studies at the Hong Kong Government Language School, she taught religious education, English Language and Literature to secondary school students at Maryknoll Sisters School at Blue Pool Road, Hong Kong, until 1979. After serving in Congregational Services from 1980 to 1984, she returned to teaching at Maryknoll Convent School, Kowloontong, from 1989-1993. She also facilitated a discussion group with young Chinese workers, and ran retreat and reflection days with Filipina domestic workers.
Then, from 1994-1997, as a member of the Prisoners’ Friends Association in Hong Kong, she made regular visits to Hong Kong’s maximum security prisons, where she shared the Gospel and Christian values with men from Kenya, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Germany, Lesotho and the Philippines.
Upon her retirement in 1998, Sister Margaret moved to the Maryknoll Sisters Convent in Monrovia, CA, where she resided and was involved with volunteer work, doing English testing from 1999-2003, then helping in various ways at Monrovia Community Services from 2004-2008. She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY, in 2009, where she was a member of the Sisters’ Eden Community until her death.
Sister Margaret is survived by three nephews: Patrick Shepherd of Stockton, CA, Dennis Shepherd of Carmel, CA, and Bill Shepherd of Decorah, IA. All her siblings have pre-deceased her.
A vespers service will be held for Sister Margaret on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 11 a.m., also at the Center. Interment will be in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.