SHEWARD, Ronald Edwin 
- Born: 29 Oct 1924, Detroit, Wayne Co, MI 1
- Died: 9 May 2006, Kerrville, Kerr Co, TX at age 81
My original intent was to become a commercial artist. While working as a statistical draftsman at Ford Motor Co. to earn a living and pay my way through art school at night, I had an opportunity to take a course in industrial clay modeling sponsored by the company on my time. I took advantage of this and subsequently obtained a position at Ford employed as a clay modeler in their styling section.
After several years I decided to expand my experience and income by going to the industrial design field, by gaining employment at "Sundburg & Ferer" a prominent design firm in the Detroit area.
A short time later, an opportunity at Chrysler Corp. presented itself, allowing me to further improve my income as well as gain considerable advancement. I took the position and stayed at Chrysler Corp. for 27 years.
About 1954 I was approached to form a partnership business with the intent of teaching clay modeling, which I entered into. This was a night school course with govt. approval for veterans as well as non vets. It was quite successful as all of our students obtained imployment in clay modeling sections of the local quto companies.
About this time I was promoted to a studio leaders sesponsibility requiring extensive overtime. I elected to give up the teaching and partnership to insure maximum performance at this duty.
In 1958 I was selected for a management position and was assigned to supervise Dodge exterior, Dodge interior and Dodge truck modeling. In 1962 I decided to return to the actual day to day execution of model fabrication which was much more satisfying to me if not reqrding.
I continued in this manner until my retirement in April 1980. As an indication of how my skill and performance were regarded, I nearly always enjoyed the highest classification and salary that was available to my profession.
There was some occasion, a wedding or some affair, that everyone was going to, all dressed up. Grandpa Briggs slipped off for a moment to check his pigeons at the end of the yard. I saw him, and also saw the peg that locked the door. I slipped the peg into place, locking Grandpa in the pigeon house. I could hear them calling for Grandpa, but at that point there was no way I was goiing to tell where Grandpa was. They all went off without Grandpa, who wasn't found until later, his fine attire the worse for wear in the pigeon house. I was tanned properly for the offense.
I was forced to play the violin as a child, which I disliked completely, especially the concerts. I remember one occassion when I had played in front of an audience accompanied by a piano, and asked Dad afterwards how I did. Dad answered: I think you beat him to the end. Later, I developed an interest in folk music: guitar, banjo, and finally fiddle. I like to play while slouching back in a chair. It would turn my teacher's hair gray!
I had two rabbits when we lived on Orangelawn, and Dad made the pen for them. My Dad got them for me for Easter. The rabbits were on a wire grid so that the pellets would fall through. I was supposed to feed them dandelion leaves. After a while, I got tired of that, and quit doing it. Dad found them, and they had started eating each other. Dad was really angry about that, in fact I don't think I ever saw him so mad in my life.
In March 1943, I was drafted. I went to Battle Creek, to camp Custer. They gave me clothes and tested me and sent me to St. Petersburg, Florida for basic training for the Air Force. After that, I went to camoflage school in Alexandria, Virginia. I got out of that and was shipped to Spokane, Washington, where they taught me to drive a jeep. From there they sent me to Colorado Springs, Colorado, because they needed a draftman. Then I applied to be a cadet. But the war in Europe finished, and they wanted to put me in the infantry. I managed to get myself assigned to a photo mapping outfit in Brazil, where I spent the rest of my military career.
After I got out of the army, I used the GI Bill to finance me through the rest of Cass Tech art curriculum. After Cass Tech, I enrolled in The Society of Arts & Crafts, also in Detroit. I was taking painting, but was involved in a car-pedestrian accident, in which I broke my leg. I was laid up, and therefore was late registering. The only class left was ceramics; if I didn't sign up for something, I would lose my benefits. So, by accident, I discovered what I was really good at.
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation: Clay Modeler.
Ronald married Mary Rose CAPACE  [MRIN: 4312].
Ronald next married Ann WINDER  [MRIN: 196], daughter of Claude Veyne WINDER Phd  and Dr. Harriet OWEN .