Cover photo for Richard Lee Shepard's Obituary
Richard Lee Shepard Profile Photo

Richard Lee Shepard

January 25, 1942 — March 18, 2023

Jasper, FL

Richard Lee Shepard

Richard Lee Shepard, of Jasper, FL. and former resident of Sycamore, Georgia passed away at HCA North Florida Regional Hospital on March 18, 2023 at the age of 81.

Richard was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He was one of three sons born to the late James and Anna Mae Shepard Castleberry. As a young man he served his country in the United States Army before setting on a path to become a successful building contractor in West Palm Beach, FL in the 1960-70’s. His work took him all over the United States and in 1976 he decided to move his family from the ever-growing population of West Palm Beach to a little quieter life in Sycamore, Georgia where they could boast of having only one little store to shop in at the time. Richard built their dream home on a 25-acre tract of what he called heaven and set off to enjoy the next 40 plus years in the building contracting business.  Mr. Shepard was a dedicated businessman and employer who was the boss that never asked an employee to do something that he wasn’t willing to jump right into himself. He taught his daughter Leigh Ann, the value of hard work and accountability at a young age. He taught her to respect others and always try to lift others up. He did this himself more often than not with just that smile that he carried with him every day. Richard was a two-time cancer survivor, one who never gave up and never gave in. He met the challenge with determination in his heart, a smile on his face and a guaranteed joke on his lips when he walked into a doctor’s office or hospitals for treatment. He and his brothers shared a special bond and always had some foolishness going on whenever they were together. Time to take a serious picture? no, not these three, they simply tried to see how they could outdo the other one to make them laugh. Always getting the first slap of the hand of his grandson who dared lay his hand flat on a table or his knee. It was a never ending with him with the jokes and pranks. A quote from his grandson Trey on Facebook following the death of his Grandaddy, “When you make someone smile, you’ve made a day” Trey followed by saying Grandaddy definitely practiced what he preached. Memories…the memories will be many and they are all filled with laughter and that sweet smile that Richard Shepard gave away for free but are now indeed priceless. He never met a stranger and so almost two years ago when he and his wife sold their place in Sycamore and moved to Jasper, FL., it was like moving back home. He knew most of the people in town because he had been such a vital part of Leigh Ann’s and the grandchildren’s lives. Whatever they were doing, he was there. So, he was not moving to a town full of strangers, he was Grandaddy to all of their friends.

In addition to being a contractor, Richard was a Cook. Yes, believe it because he did. He would tell anyone that wanted to challenge him to bring it on. He was always proving his point to one neighbor or group of men that “He” could cook the BEST Boston Butt or ribs. Thankfully, he was pretty good and his family and the neighborhood were beneficiaries of this talents. He was also a fisherman; oh, he had guns and could shoot but hunting was not his favorite thing. Catching a big ‘ole bass from the lake or salt-water fishing off-shore at Panama City was what he loved. He also loved naming dogs “Jake”. There never was a good explanation for this but be it male or female, it didn’t matter, any new dog became "old Jake". And it should be said of any man that they should have a friend named John and Richard did. In fact, he visited with them regularly mostly by TV or radio. “His friends” are most commonly known to a novice as John Wayne or Johnny Cash but to Richard they were John and Johnny. He was so close to them; he could site the words out of their mouths before they could speak them or sing them. Perhaps not necessarily favorites of Charlotte or Leigh Ann.

Richard was also a fine Christian man. As soon as he moved to Jasper, he started looking for his new church. He was a longtime member of Sycamore Baptist Church and did a great deal of work building and remodeling for them. He never sat idly by when he could be of service to the kingdom of Christ.

More than being a successful business man or a respected boss, his desire was to serve the Lord and to be respected and loved by his wife and his daughter. He worked hardest at that and yet as they reflect on their time with him, he could have not done anything more because he always did and always will rank #1 with them.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, his beloved Ann Royal Shepard; his one and only daughter, Leigh Ann Shepard Norris and her husband, Wade Benjamin “Ben” Norris, Jr. and the two that were blessed to call him Grandaddy, Wade Benjamin “Trey” Norris, III and Kaleigh Norris Matson and her husband Andrew. Also surviving are his two brothers, Tommy Shepard and his wife Valerie of Singer Island, FL. and Paul Shepard and his wife Kathy of Monticello, FL.; several nieces and nephews. In addition, he was blessed with friends, old and new, that will cherish the moments he spent with them.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at Sycamore Baptist Church in Sycamore, Georgia.

The family will receive friends at the church on Tuesday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Perry Funeral Chapel in Ashburn, GA. is in charge of arrangements.

Flowers will be graciously accepted or in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sycamore Baptist Church, 44 W College St. Sycamore, GA 31790. Please be sure to include In Memory of Richard Shepard.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Lee Shepard, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Lakeview Cemetery- Sycamore

1684 Industrial Dr., Ashburn, GA 31714

Immediately following funeral

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