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Obituary: John Shepherd Sr., Hammond

John Shepherd Sr.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

John Francis Shepherd Sr., a former fire chief and member of the Hammond town council, died Friday, Sept. 27. He was 91.

He was born in Terre Haute, Ind., to Delbert and Martha Shepherd, the eldest of four boys. The family moved to Arizona in 1945 and he joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 17, serving from 1946 to 1948 at Neah Bay, Wash., and Point Adams in Hammond.

While in Hammond, he served for a short time on the rescue boat Triumph and met his future wife, Carolyn Petersen.

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 Point Adams Cannery in Hammond. They were married on June 17, 1951, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Astoria (now the Performing Arts Center).

Shepherd graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He 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 son, John Jr., for 14 years, retiring from electrical contracting in 2001.

Shepherd was a volunteer firefighter in Warrenton and Hammond for more than 30 years, serving as Hammond’s fire chief for 13 years. He was president of Warrenton Chamber of Commerce in 1958 and served as civil defense director of Hammond during the Cold War years.

Shepherds served on the Hammond Town Council from 1962 until the city disincorporated in 1991. He also was a member of the Warrenton-Hammond School District Budget Committee for 16 years.
Together John and Carolyn Shepherd raised five children and celebrated their 68th anniversary in June.

Shepherd loved to camp and travel, go clam-digging, play golf and pinochle, and to attend his children’s and grandchildren’s athletic, dance, and music events.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; daughters Carol of Eugene, Cynthia Harber of Astoria, Connie Seutter of Mesa, Ariz., and Christine Olson of Eugene; son John Jr. of Hammond; and eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Shepherd’s name to the Warrenton High School Band Program, 820 S.W. Cedar Ave., Warrenton OR 97146; Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation, 2111 Exchange St., Astoria OR 97103; or Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria OR 97103.

Visitation is from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary, 1165 Franklin Ave., Astoria. Public graveside services are at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton.

John Shepherd Sr.

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