| Shep spoke of numerous aunts, uncles and first cousins -- most of which actually existed -- in his stories. Here is a guide to the ones in his real life.
Mother Anne's side:
Shep's mother -- Anne (aka Anna and Annie) (nee Heinrichs) Shepherd Hetrick (1899-1977) -- had four sisters:
1. Theresa Marie ("Aunt Theresa") Heinrichs (1894-1993): Married to Frederick Frank Herman ("Uncle Fred") Von Beulwitz (1894-1969), who worked as a machinist. They had Warren Parker (1921-1930) and Donald Frederick (1927-2003). Curiously, Shep (as well as his father, of course) has the same middle name ("Parker") as cousin Warren Von Beulwitz. It is also the surname of Shep's fictional family in "A Christmas Story." In a 1960 radio broadcast, Shep mentioned Aunt Theresa's Jell-O molds and Uncle Fred being henpecked.
2. Kathryn Edith ("Aunt Kate") Heinrichs (1896-1989): Married to Alfred August ("Uncle Al") Von Beulwitz (1895-1968), who worked as a musician (violinist) and orchestra leader. They had Joyce Gloria (m. Jerome Albert De Berthier) (1920-2006), Arline (aka Arlene) Hope (m. Willis L. Bennett) (1922-?) and Alfred August Jr. (1923-1992). Sisters Kate and Theresa Heinrichs married the Von Beulwitz brothers, Shep's uncles Al and Fred. In a 1962 radio broadcast, Shep told of Aunt Kate and Uncle Al, and how they ordered takeout food.
3. Clara M. ("Aunt Clara") Heinrichs (1902-1987): She gave Shep the pink bunny suit in "A Christmas Story." Married to Charles Michael ("Uncle Charles") Musson (1904-1937), who worked in a dye house. Shep wrote in IGWT, when telling of Ralphie's visit to Toyland at Goldblatt's, that "Santa smoked Camels, like my Uncle Charles." Aunt Clara and Uncle Charles had Merle C. (m. Pearson) (1924-2013), Charles August (1927-1990) and Patricia A. (m. Charles Schmidt) (1935-2015).
4. Minnie ("Aunt Min") Heinrichs (1905-1963): She took Shep to see "The Student Prince"; featured in classic radio episode "Aunt Min's Surprise"; and thought Shep loved licorice (IGWT). Married to Carl Theodore ("Uncle Carl") Peterson (1904-?), who was a carpenter and painter that predeceased her. Uncle Carl ran a fireworks stand in the PBS movie "Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters." And in IGWT, Shep told Junie Jo Prewitt of the time Uncle Carl lost his false teeth down the airshaft. Aunt Min and Uncle Carl had Lyle C. (1928-?) and Norman (1936-?).
Father Jean's side:
Shep's father -- Jean Parker Shepherd Sr. (1902-1956) -- had two siblings:
1. Glenna L. ("Aunt Glenn") Shepherd (1885-1953): Aunt Glenn gave Shep a giant tie in 8th grade (IGWT), and she bestowed the name "Jean" on Shep's father, according to several radio broadcasts. Married to Thomas John ("Uncle Tom") Manning (1884-1966), who held various odd jobs. They both had Easter dinner at Shep's, where the Bumpus hounds grabbed the ham, and Uncle Tom always gave Shep a dollar ( Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories; Shep's Army).
2. Paul Kenneth ("Uncle Paul") Shepherd (1893-1965): He was a milk salesman and custodian. Married to Louise H. ("Aunt Louise") Shepherd (1897-1975).