Richard E. Shepherd died Tuesday, June 12, 2001, in Palm Desert, Calif., after a lengthy illness. He was 64.
Mr. Shepherd was born April 22, 1937, in Vancouver, Wash. He graduated from Anchorage High School in 1956. He served in a variety of top-level staff positions at both the state and federal level in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked as a Special Assistant to former Governors Walter J. Hickel and Keith Miller, before being named in the early 1970s to a similar post within the Office of the Secretary of the Interior under Walter J. Hickel and his successor Rodger C. B. Morton. He chaired the Alaska Field Committee for the Interior Office, acting as a liaison between the agency and nine state directors. Following that experience, he went on to become assistant to Congressman Don Young.
He lived in Alaska for 35 years and managed the Alaska Marine Highway System's Anchorage office from 1978 through 1981. In 1981, he accepted a position to become the manager of the Alaska Terminal in Seattle. He served in that capacity until operations were transferred to Bellingham, Wash. After the transfer, he retired from the state service.
During his life in Alaska, Mr. Shepherd was a member of the Pioneers of Alaska and Anchorage Elks Lodge 1351. He maintained an active role in Anchorage community affairs for nearly two decades. Following a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1961, he served on the board of directors for the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous and was later named national director for the State of Alaska U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. His other board posts included the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"He lived in Anchorage for 30 years and visited the Kenai Peninsula often," his family said. "He was a born entertainer, as evidenced by his early performances in the Anchorage Community Theater production of Arthur Miller's classic 'An Enemy of the People,' and his convincing 'salesman' role in the Juneau players production of 'Hootch-n-oo and Hotcakes.'"
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward R. Shepherd.
Mr. Shepherd is survived by his wife of 43 years, Karla Jean Shepherd of Palm Desert and Palmer; his daughters and sons-in-law, Kari and Anthony McWhirter, of California, and Kameron and Michael Lyne of Palmer; daughter Kimberlie Shepherd of Colorado; grandchildren Katie and Rachel McWhirter of California, Chanel and Cian Sobrepena of Colorado and Nolan Richard Lyne of Palmer; mother, Clyda I. Shepherd of Anchorage; sister, Cherie Brownlee, of Anchorage; nieces Lisa Santini of Arizona and Dana Rush of Wasilla, nephews Michael Shepherd of California and Robert Baugher of Anchorage; sister and brother-in-law, Dr. William and Marleen Day of Homer; and friend Jim Anderson of Nikiski.
Remembrances can be made to the American Cancer Society.
Arrangements were made by the Palm Springs Mortuary.
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