Country Music
Country Music Memorial Sites | Shutterstock / tommaso lizzul

Jean Shepard Obituary

11/21/1933 - 9/25/2016| Visit Guest Book
Jean Shepard (Elmer Williams / Country Music Hall of Fame)
Jean Shepard (Elmer Williams / Country Music Hall of Fame)
Grand Ole Opry star Jean Shepard died Sept. 25, 2016, according to multiple news sources. She was 82.

Shepard had been in declining health for some time and entered hospice care last week. On Sunday morning, one of her sons issued a statement concerning his mother’s death.

"Today is one of the hardest days of my life. Mom has been called home this morning and is now at peace. Please keep our family in your prayers during this tough time. Thank you everyone for your support,” son Hawkshaw Hawkins Jr. said.

Shepard graced the Grand Ole Opry stage since 1955 and was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Click to get weekly celebrity death news delivered to your inbox.

She had 73 songs hit the country charts including a No. 1 song with “A Dear John Letter,” which was a duet with country music legend Ferlin Husky. Shepard was one of the first female country stars along with Patsy Cline.

As a teenager, Shepard played in an all-female country band called the Melody Ranch Girls. She was discovered by country music superstar Hank Thompson, who helped her get a recording contract with Capitol Records. In 1955, Shepard had her first top-10 solo country song with “A Satisfied Mind.”

Shepard married fellow Grand Ole Opry star Hawkshaw Hawkins Sr. in 1960. Hawkins died three years later in the same plane crash that killed Patsy Cline.

On Nov. 21, 2015, Shepard became the first female to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 60 consecutive years. That feat has only been achieved by one other person. She then retired from the stage that night.

Country music star Terri Clark tweeted: "RIP Jean Shepard. You were a pistol and I adored you. Thank you for blazing a trail for us…"

Shepard is survived by her husband, Benny Birchfield, and sons Don Robin Hawkins, Harold Franklin Hawkins II, and Corey Birchfield.

Read Full Obituary for Jean Shepard

Guest Book Highlights

If you need help finding the right words, view our Suggested Entries

Other obituaries

Published in Tennessean on September 28, 2016
Jean Shepard Hendersonville, TN 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... Read Obituary
Published in Tennessean on September 26, 2017
In memory of Jean Shepard. Read Obituary
Published online on September 25, 2016 courtesy of
Grand Ole Opry star Jean Shepard died Sept. 25, 2016, according to multiple news sources. For full obituary and coverage from, click here . Read Obituary
Published online on September 28, 2016 courtesy of
Jean was born on November 21, 1933 and passed away on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Jean was a resident of Hendersonville, Tennessee at the time of her passing. A celebration of her life will... Read Obituary

Search Memorials


About This Site: Country Music Memorials

This memorial site includes obituaries and Guest Books from the network of newspaper and funeral home affiliates.