Obituary: Ray Shepherd

Ray Shepherd, 65, of Sweet Home, died Dec. 6, 2009 after a 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

He was born in Portland to James Vernon and Florence Rosanne (Welshons) Shepherd. He was raised in Brownsville and graduated from Central Linn High School.

Mr. Shepherd was an accomplished industrial electrician who worked at the innovative Woodex alternative fuel plant in Brownsville before moving to Irrigon in the mid-1980s.

He was employed there by a leading agribusiness, Lamb Weston, until he could no longer work due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease in 2000.

Mr. Shepherd served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for many years, which included a brief tenure as captain of the Brownsville Fire Department in the early 1980s.

His children and family will fondly remember him for his love of road trips on his Honda Goldwing motorcycle, a sweet tooth for lemon meringue pies and always having tools on hand to answer the call of “Hey Dad, can you help me fix this?” He was a hard-working man and will be missed by many.

He is survived by his three children, Dan Shepherd of Los Angeles, Calif., Patricia Schilling of Sweet Home and Kat Long of Umatilla; eight grandchildren; brother Gary Shepherd of Brownsville; and sister Marie Putzier of Coburg.

Mr. Shepherd was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Robert Shepherd and James Shepherd.

A celebration of Mr. Shepherd’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the Brownsville Christian Church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ray’s name to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at

Cards for the family can be sent in care of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, 1443 Long St. Sweet Home, OR 97386.