It is with deep sadness that the family of Arthur John Shepherd (Art), announce his passing at St. Paul’s Hospital on Sunday October 23, 2022 at the age of 79 years young, 16 days short of his 80th birthday. We were blessed to have him as our father, friend, colleague, husband, brother, uncle, and grandpa. He leaves a big hole in the lives of his daughter, Lauree Lavoie (Yvon); son Curtis (Jane), son Jeff (Michelle), grandchildren, Daniel, Monet, Tyler, Camden; sibling Anita, brother-in-law Bob Brown (Rose) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Art was born in Saskatoon to Douglas and Betty Shepherd on November 8, 1942. He spent his lifetime in Saskatoon, attending King George Elementary school and then Bedford Road Collegiate, where he met the love of his life, Judy Shepherd. They were married in 1965 and had three children, Lauree, Curtis and Jeff.
Dad graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Education and began work with the Saskatoon Public School Division, but he wasn’t a classroom teacher for very long. The Division saw his aptitude for leadership, and he became one of the youngest teachers to become an administrator. Art worked his entire career in elementary education, leading and guiding staff and students from many different schools. During his 30+ years of employment, he also spent considerable time working as a representative with the Saskatoon Teacher’s Association and attended spring councils with the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation. He was a committed and passionate educator, always striving to improve his profession, not only for himself, but for everyone in the field of education.
While Art and Judy lived on Avenue M, they built their second home on Elevator Road in the Montgomery neighborhood, having their first two children there – Lauree and Curtis. They then moved to City Park where their third child, Jeff, was born. They remained in City Park in their beautiful home for 49 years until Judy’s passing in 2020. Dad then moved to Primrose Chateau and quickly became friends with many of the wonderful people there and always looked forward to the camaraderie and fellowship shared during happy hour on Thursdays.
Art was loved and admired for his logical sensibility and his abounding wisdom. There wasn’t a topic of interest that dad couldn’t participate in a discussion about. His immense knowledge base was vast and wide. He loved flying radio-controlled airplanes and dabbled in photography through the years, having a dark room in the “workshop” in the basement. He also loved wood working. We wouldn’t say he enjoyed renovations but was always a handy man and could do and fix anything in and around the house. There wasn’t a tool that Art didn’t have. Dad also spent many years hunting and fishing. He loved duck hunting with his dog Blacky and going down to Southern SK to hunt deer. Two of dad’s favourite places to fly fish were Cypress Hills and McDougall Creek. These passions were passed down to his children and grandchildren.
Dad was a loyal friend to many and held each and every one near and dear to his heart. They went on many trips, fly fishing the great rivers of Alberta and Saskatchewan together. Dad loved hosting “the boys” at the cabin at Big Shell Lake and he treasured those times and friendships greatly.
Big Shell Lake was a haven for the Shepherd family, with Art and Judy building the family cabin in 1977. The family built a lifetime of memories there, spending every summer holiday which often included hosting and celebrating with family and friends. Dad’s favorite place to have coffee was on the deck, enjoying the view of the lake.
A special thank you goes to the staff at Primrose Chateau, RUH and St. Paul’s Palliative Care unit for their care and attention.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Art’s name to the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation.
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