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Stan Shepard | Obituaries – Aitkin Independent Age

Stan Shepard, 82, died peacefully at home on Oct. 9, 2020 in Ladson, South Carolina.  

He had moved there recently to be with family, but had spent most of the first half of his life in Iowa, with a very happy period in Bishop, California, and the second half in Milaca and Aitkin, Minnesota, when he was not travelling.

He was born on July 15, 1938 in Centerville, Iowa, to Peg and Merrill Shepard, and he grew up on the family farm northwest of Mystic.  He kept a connection to the land throughout his life, sometimes owning farms, even as he followed a career path into the telephone and telecommunications sector.

Stan graduated from Centerville High School in 1956.  Through the eighth grade he went to school in a one-room schoolhouse built jointly by his grandfather.  He was close to his grandmother who had taught in that school until her marriage.

In 1957 he married Sally Livengood in Centerville.  Together they had more than 60 years of adventures, often focused on his love of fishing.

During his career, he worked for Western Electric, United Telephone, Continental Telephone (Contel, then GTE, now Verizon).  He started as an installer and moved into a number of management roles that gave him a lot of job satisfaction. His teams were among the early adopters of high-speed, fiber-optic cable in rural Minnesota.  He retired in 1990 and had 25 years of excellent health and a great retirement. He had been battling lung cancer for five years.

In retirement, Stan had several other short careers for fun. He worked for friends on a road construction firm, driving an earth-mover one summer, and for another friend who owns a trucking company, he drove semis across the country. He spent one summer working as a fishing guide on Mille Lacs Lake.  All his life he loved being on the water and must have owned a dozen boats throughout his life.

Stan was energetic and resourceful, an adventurer who liked to make things happen.    

Stan and Sally traveled nonstop for several years across the U.., including a road trip to Alaska.  Wherever they went, Stan would find great places to fish.  He loved all fishing, from flyfishing in the mountains of California as a young man to ocean fishing later in life to every kind of freshwater lake in Minnesota. He fished most of them.  

Stan preferred the outdoors, and had enormous energy for doing many kinds of projects. He could build or fix anything. He was self-taught in all the trades, and he designed and built two houses from scratch and also completely renovated two more.  

In his younger days he would farm in the evenings while working for the telephone company during the day. In later years he became a skilled woodworker and produced pieces of furniture for family and friends. He restored vintage Oliver tractors and joined the classic car club in Aitkin. He loved car racing. He had enjoyed riding his Honda Goldwing across the U.S. He and Sally spent a winter volunteering in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Steve; and his son-in-law Ray Murphy.

Survivors include his wife Sally and his daughter Sheila Murphy, both of Ladson, South Carolina; his son, Alan Shepard (Steve Powell) of London, Canada; grandchildren: Eric (Ashley Matuszak) and Lizzie Murphy and Holden and Brock Shepard Powell; along with his sister Pat; his brother Stu (Becky); nieces and nephews; family and loyal friends.

Cremation has taken place. Because of the pandemic, the family will not hold a memorial service.  Condolences may be sent to the family at

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