Self-storage owners James and Nell Sheppard were recently honored for their longtime service to the community of Port Neches, Texas. Long before the couple opened Sheps Self Storage, they were well-known for running an iconic burger joint called Sheps Drive-in. The Sheppards closed the drive-in in 1989 after 30 years but have remained visible through the storage business and working with local organizations and their church.
"Before the landscape was dotted with chains such as McDonald's, Dairy Queen and Jack in the Box, they owned and operated Port Neches' iconic Sheps Drive-in, the meeting place for Mid-County teenagers exiting a movie and the final destination of the evening for young drivers making the drag," said local resident John DeVillier.
The Sheppards were recently honored during a special event at Port Acres KC Hall, where they were presented with a patriotic painting. “The subject matter was appropriate because both have long been active in the VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] in leadership roles," DeVillier said. "It was a tribute to their impact on the community."
Both are members of the Wayne F. East VFW Post 4820, where James is quarter master, and the Lady's Auxiliary, where Nell is president. The Sheppards also are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in nearby Port Arthur. "We do house teaching. We visit members that are ill, spiritual things," Nell said.
Now in their 80s, the Sheppards have been married for 65 years and have three children, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.