Many people have asked me to tell about myself, so I decided to create
this page in order to do that.
My full name is Maridean Mansfield Shepard, but most people
call me Mari. I am currently disabled, working when I can, as a computer
consultant, artist, musician, character actress, and independent Avon
Prior to health problems, I worked as a teacher (special ed.
and music), secretary, bookkeeper, entertainer (dancer, drummer, singer,
and actress), computer operator/tech support, and online sysop.
I have been a Braille transcriber since age 11. I founded the
disABILITIES Information Services on AOL (back in 1986, when it was
Quantum Link), and on GEnie, and was co-creator (with Phill Seaman) of
the disABILITIES Database service, for which we earned an award from
Johns Hopkins. I was also inducted into WHO'S WHO.
In the past I have also enjoyed activities such as camping,
dirt biking, motocross, jet skis, dancing (ballroom, popular, western,
and belly dance), needlework, softball, and swimming.
I am a survivor of auto accidents, molestation, rape, the
Northridge quake, frequent hospitalizations, surgeries, and a variety
of tumors. From 1992-1997 I lost my mother-in-law (cancer), grandma
(heart), dad (heart), husband (suicide), mom (heart and cancer), and
brother (heart and cancer).
My current disabilities include: asthma, hypothyroid, heart
disease, arthritis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia
(FMS), Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), and Chronic Fatigue / Immune
Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS).
SCHOOLS ATTENDED: E.O.Green Jr. High, Hueneme High School, Buena
H.S., Ventura College, L.A. Mission College, Learning Tree University.
PLACES I'VE WORKED: Hueneme School District, Burbank School
District, Pinecrest Schools, Foundation for the Junior Blind, Van Nuys
College of Business, Pacific Coast Technical Institute, International
Guiding Eyes, Manpower, Kelly Services, Avon, and Engelhard.
BANDS I'VE BEEN IN: Holland Trio, Steve Randall Organization
(SRO), The 5th Amendment, The Marshalls, backup band for Molly Bee,
Fresh Aire (afterhours drummer), Cottonwood, Yosemite.
CLIENTS FOR COMPUTER, MUSIC, OR ART WORK: Hydrel, Engelhard,
Van Nuys College of Business, Pacific Coast Technical Institute, 391st
Bomber Squadron, Marble Unlimited, Chevon, Van Nuys Theatre, Cintas
Uniforms, Cable Radio Network, Scavone Wallcovering, Jack-in-the-Box,
ALS Assn., Interactive Entrtinment, and various bases of the US Navy.
I was born in Enid, OK, on January 20, 1952. My dad was Howard Ernest Mansfield
and my mom was Nadine Miller Mansfield.
I grew up in San Diego and Ventura, California, with my older
brother (Don) and sister (Dianne) and younger sister (Judy).
I moved to the San Fernando Valley and on June 25, 1977 was married
to Kent Lee Shepard, a deaf man who raced (drags and motocross) and was
a true craftsman at paperhanging and construction.
I became a widow in 1995. I have no children, but I have 2 cockatiels
(Bigbird and Grady) and a budgie (Blue Angel). I used to have large
dogs, but when I lost my home, in 1999, I had to find a new home for my
beautiful Rottie, Mariah.
I am active in my church family at Shepherd's Community Church, where
I am busy playing drums on the worship team, director of the AWANA Cubbies,
paint murals, and serve on childcare, drama, and convalescent hospital
ministries. It was thanks to members of my church family that I have a
new home and a van to get me around.
This area will be expanded soon, but for now, I just wanted to list some
of the special people who have touched my life: Louise Foote, Patsy
Williams, Bob and Gloria Spittle, Dennis Kent, Wanda Hale, Estella
Dallons, Raimer Rojas, Derek Morris, Isabel Blanco, Barry Rabe,
Pastors Paul Brown, Mark Melillo, and Mark Schweitzer and their wives,
John and Jody Faas, Darcy Reiff, Sean and Jessica Ransom and their boys,
Kian and Christian, Dave and Cathy Morrison, and my entire "family"
at Shepherd's Community Church in Canoga Park.
I must also include my sister, Jude, who was here to help me care
for our mom before she died and to help me through the other deaths in
our family. She is a talented computer tech., craftperson, and exotic
animal rehabilitator, and the very best friend and sister anyone could
And, while I am giving thanks, I must of course thank God, who
gave me a new home and new life, and is always there, to guide my path
and see me through all things.