Obituary: Richard K. Shepard | The Verde Independent

Richard K. Shepard

1934 – 2021

Richard (Dick) Keith Shepard, 87, passed away at his Cottonwood home December 13, 2021 after a brief battle with cancer. Wife Emma Jean and daughter Reesa were at his side.

A modest, easy-going man, Richard worked for Verde Valley Senior Center for 16 years delivering meals to appreciative citizens, right up to the time he fell ill.

He was born in Conesville, Iowa, September 4, 1934, to the late Mildred G. (King) Shepard and Vernon H. Shepard and spent his youth in Topeka, Kansas, where he graduated from Topeka High School in 1952.

He joined the Army in 1953, obtained the rank of SP3(+) and completed Engineer School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

In 1954 he married Emma Jean (EJ) Clark of Collinsville, Oklahoma. They had just celebrated 67 years of marriage last October.

Upon discharge from the Army, Richard, wife and daughter moved to Whittier, California where they lived for 25 years. He was employed by Zieman Products, a small steel fabricating company, earning a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona and advancing through the company to become a partner, VP and General Manager.

In 1981, Richard decided to leave Zieman Products and the Shepards relocated to Sedona, Arizona, where he, satisfying an old itch, and a nephew constructed two beautiful homes. Being world travelers, the Shepards also operated World Tours Travel Agency with offices in Cottonwood and Sedona.

Richard and EJ enjoyed touring all 50 states as well as Australia, New Zealand, the British Isles, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, China, Peru, Ecuador, Switzerland, Canada and numerous Caribbean islands and various cruises. A favorite tour was traveling in their motor home from Nogales, Mexico to the tip of the Yucatan peninsula.

After closing their travel agency in 2002 they relocated to Clearwater, Florida, for a brief period before once again “hitting the road” and traveling across the US in their motor home, eventually returning to the Verde Valley where Richard went to work for Verde Valley Senior Citizens Center delivering Meals-on-Wheels.

Richard was preceded in death by both parents, an infant sister Ruth and brother Lloyd. He is survived by wife Emma Jean, daughter Reesa (Ron) Cornwall, and adoring grandchildren Vandin and Caress Moore, his sister Kay Vandivort, nephews and numerous friends.

If you would like to honor his service to the community, he would be pleased to have donations made to the Verde Valley Senior Center, PO Box 681, Cottonwood, 86326.

Information provided by the family.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.