July 12, 1928 — Sept. 27, 2019
John Francis Shepherd Sr. was born July 12, 1928, in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Delbert and Martha Shepherd, the eldest of four boys. He grew up in Terre Haute and Peoria, Illinois, spending his second grade year living with his paternal grandparents on their farm in Sullivan, Indiana. His family moved to Arizona in 1945.
He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in Arizona at age 17, serving from 1946 to 1948 at Neah Bay, Washington, and Point Adams in Hammond, Oregon, where he proudly served for a short time on the rescue boat Triumph.
While stationed at Point Adams, John met his future wife, Carolyn Marie Petersen, and when he left the Coast Guard, they attended and graduated together from Astoria High School in 1949.
During high school, and while attending the University of Oregon, he and Carolyn worked summers at the Point Adams cannery in Hammond. They were married on June 17, 1951, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Astoria (now the Performing Arts Center). Carolyn graduated in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in English; John graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in business.
They purchased their family home in Hammond in 1953, near both sets of their parents and many relatives; it remains the family home today. They raised five children, who provided them with eight grandchildren. John and Carolyn celebrated their 68th anniversary this past June; John celebrated his 91st birthday in July.
John apprenticed with his father-in-law, Conrad Petersen, and worked with both Conrad and Carolyn Petersen at Warrenton Electric starting in 1952, later becoming a partner in the business. Eventually, he owned and operated Shepherd Electric in Hammond, in partnership with his son, John Jr., for 14 years, retiring from electrical contracting in 2001.
John was a volunteer firefighter in the Warrenton and Hammond fire departments for over 30 years, serving as Hammond’s chief for 13 of those years, and assistant chief for 10. For several years, he was a member of Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, serving as president in 1958. During the Cold War years he served as the civil defense director for the town of Hammond.
John served on the Hammond Town Council from 1962 until Warrenton annexed the city of Hammond in 1991. He was a member of the Warrenton-Hammond School District Budget Committee for 16 years.
His three younger brothers, James, Jack and Jay, all preceded him in death. Their surviving spouses are Virginia Shepherd, Sandra Shepherd and Marlene Shepherd, cherished members of the family.
John is survived by his wife, Carolyn; children, Carol, of Eugene, John Jr. (Leslie), of Hammond, Cynthia (Pat) Harber, of Astoria, Connie (Mike) Seutter, of Mesa, Arizona, and Christine (Ron) Olson, of Eugene; grandchildren, Amy (Gary) Wilson, of Hammond, Sean Shepherd, of Springfield, Oregon, Sarah Shepherd, of Dallas, Oregon, Molly Shepherd, of Pulaski, Tennessee, Charlene Harber, of San Jose, California, Conor Harber, of Astoria, Olivia Seutter, of Mesa, Arizona, and Raymond Olson, of Eugene; and four nieces and three nephews and their families.
John always enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s athletic competitions, recitals, concerts, other performances and graduations, sometimes traveling across the U.S. to do so. He was a huge fan of the University of Oregon Ducks, and one of 10 UO graduates in his immediate family, including his wife, all five children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law and a granddaughter.
He loved to travel, especially family road trips with his children to Disneyland, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, and later, trips to the Civil War battlefields of Tennessee, Georgia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
He especially loved welcoming each new child and grandchild to the family, and enjoyed having his entire family around him at Christmas every year in the family home. Favorite activities were camping trips with his parents and brothers’ families, family reunions, biking around Fort Stevens State Park, clam digging, golfing and playing pinochle.
John had a very cheerful disposition, a great smile, and was easily amused by his children’s and grandchildren’s antics. He had many friends, especially Bill and Ellen Shaw and Marge Holstein. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
The Shepherd family would like to express their gratitude to Chandini and Vijay and their family for the outstanding care, compassion and love they gave to our loved one for the last year of his life.
Also the family would like to thank Dr. Park and his staff for decades of care, and the nurses and staff of Columbia Memorial Hospital for their dedicated care of John.
Donations may be made in John’s name to the Warrenton High School Band Program, the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation or the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. Please sign our online guest book at caldwellsmortuary.com
Visitation will be held Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary, 1165 Franklin Ave., Astoria, Oregon.
Public graveside services will be held Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Ocean View Cemetery.