Melbourne Allan Shepard Sr., 88, passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at his home.
He was born May 11, 1924 in Lyons, Neb. He was the son of the late Albert Wesley Shepard and Maude Iola Bush Shepard. Mr. Shepard is preceded in death by four brothers; two sisters; and a great-granddaughter, Apawnee Shepard.
Mr. Shepard graduated from Lyons High School, Lyons Neb., in 1942, where he was active in basketball, track and football. He was voted All Conference half-back for two straight years and All-State honorable mention. He was offered a football scholarship at the University of Nebraska but chose instead to serve his country during World War II
. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Navy, serving as a radioman assigned to the USS O'Toole, DE527 in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre.
On Memorial Day, 1945 Mr. Shepard married Evelyn Blanche Sargent Shepard of Hubbardston, Massachusetts where they resided for many years. While in Hubbardston he was a member of the town planning board and one of the founding members of the C.A.S.H. Committee (Civic Association Scholarships of Hubbardston). He was a member of the American Legion, Mount Zion Lodge Fraternal Order of Free Masons, and The First Baptist Church of Gardner. He was active in local sports playing and coaching in area basketball leagues and was involved in Little League Baseball. Mr. Shepard worked as a Sliver Finisher at Erickson Silver in Gardner and was also employed at the Hubbardston Center School.
Following retirement, he and Evelyn moved to Lancaster, where he remained active in his church, Rich Hill Baptist. He was a member of the Merry Makers Seniors Group and the Friendship Sunday School Class. Mr. Shepard was also an active member of Antioch Lodge of Free Masons.
Mr. Shepard is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years; sons, Melbourne A. Shepard Jr., of Tallahassee, Fla., LaRue S. Shepard of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Edward W. Shepard and his wife, Theresa, of Newburg, Ore.; a daughter, Ruthann B. Shepard Brasington and husband, Tony, of Heath Springs. He leaves 11 grandchildren, Kelli Thurner, Kalann Harris, Kristie Doderer, John Shepard, Starr Shepard, Julie Wagner, Allan Brasington, Daniel Brasington, Kathryn Brasington, Charles Kilburn and Jason Kilburn; and 13 great-grandchildren, Grant and Fischer Thurner, Cameron Harris, Abby, Carsen and Dane Doderer, Jypsy Shepard, Makeyo and Maya Mazariegos, Nick Wagner, Raegan and Landry Brasington and Brennely Brasington. He is survived by one sister, Marjorie Hansen of Yankton, South Dakota.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Mr. Shepard will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at Rich Hill Baptist Church. The Rev. Rod Yow will officiate. The family will receive friends following the service in the family ministry building.
Memorials may be made to Rich Hill Baptist Church, 1557 East Doc Garris Road, Heath Springs, SC 29058; or to Civic Association Scholarships of Hubbardston, P.O. Box 375, Hubbardston, MA. 01452-0375.
Notes to the family may be made at www.lancasterfuneralhome.com.
Lancaster Funeral Home & Cremation Service is serving the family of Mr. Shepard.