Raymond Alf Shepherd: 1931-2016
Raymond Alf Shepherd
Raymond Alf Shepherd, 85, passed away May 13, 2016, after a 29-year battle with cancer at his home a few yards from the family home where he and his twin brother, Roy, were born January 23, 1931 to Alf and Piney (Pollock) Shepherd near Oshoto, Wyoming.
He attended the Pollock school through the eighth grade. He said all the rest of his education he got from the school of hard knocks.
Along with their older brother, Mike, Raymond and Roy trapped skunks and muskrats in the winter to make a little money. Before school, two boys walked the trap line while the third one took his turn milking the cow. After that, they walked to school.
The summer Raymond was 13, he went to Colony, Wyoming, to work for his future brother-in-law, Bob Tope. He received a dollar a day to wrangle horses, drive the rake team or do other jobs as needed. He was able to earn enough to buy his school clothes that fall.
Alf Shepherd was one of the best blade sheep shearers in the area and taught all the boys to shear and how to keep their shears sharp. They received twenty cents for each sheep. Many years later the price went up to forty cents per sheep.
Raymond worked on several ranches after he finished school until Alf died in 1952. At that time, he came back home to help Piney on the ranch. He also did extra jobs to help the income. He carried the Lone Pine mail route to Duck Creek two days a week (28 miles with 28 gates). At times in the winter, he went as far as possible with a jeep. The next day he hauled his horse to the other end of the road and rode in with the mail. Mail carriers hauled a lot of packages and groceries in and hauled eggs and five and ten gallons of cream out.
Raymond worked on the county roads checking gravel, worked as a carpenter’s helper, sheared sheep and worked on I-90 near Moorcroft. He also pumped oil wells for 38 years.
Raymond broke a lot of saddle horses and work teams. He used horses after most people used tractors.
Raymond voted for Eisenhower his first election and never missed voting his entire life. When he gave his word, it was as good as a contract.
On June 3, 1955, he married Jeanne Donaldson. They added to the ranch, working side by side most of the time for sixty-one years. In August, 1983, they adopted their daughter, Michel. She became her dad’s fishing and hunting partner.
Raymond is survived by his wife, Jeanne; daughter Michel (Malachi) Ormsby, sister, Mildred Tope, nephews Robert and Jay Tope and John Shepherd plus many more nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Fred, Mike and Roy and nephew, Larry Tope.
Memorials can be made to the Moore Hill Cemetery or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Funeral services were at 10 am, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at the Greater Hulett Community Center in Hulett. Burial with take place at Moore Hill Cemetery with a luncheon following the burial at the Community Center.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance, Wyoming. Online condolences may be left at:
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