NEW SALEM -- Donald Paul Shepardson, 64, of 16 Ellis Dr., died Monday, April 1, 2013 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Don was born in Winchendon, Sept. 22, 1948, the son of Daniel E. and Esther H. (Wheeler) Shepardson.
He grew up and lived in Athol most of his life, graduating from Athol High School in 1966 and for the past 12 years has resided in New Salem.
Don served in the United States Army during the Viet Nam War, following his return from the Army he worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for many years on several projects, including the Birch Hill Dam. He later became a real estate agent operating Compass Realty for the past 22 years. Don also was a firefighter at the Phillipston Fire Department and also helped at the family business, Shepardson's Garden.
Don was very active in his community, being a member of the Athol Lions Club, helped organize the Y.M.C.A. hatchet hunt for many years. Don was always one who loved people helping in any way he could. He would be known to pick up hitchhikers even if they were going the opposite way. He enjoyed traveling many parts of the world, especially on his motorcycle when he could, loved to walk, fish and hunt.
He leaves his wife, Cathleen (Damon) Dodge; his stepchildren, Joshua Dodge and his wife Marcy, of Templeton, Jessica Burgess and her husband Robert of Baldwinville, Jason Dodge and his wife Lisa of Winchendon and Jennifer Dodge and her partner Chris Barilone of Athol; nine grandchildren, Amber, Dylan, Kelsey, Hunter, Hailey, Hanna, Victoria, Makaylee and Ryder ; brother-in-laws, Clifford Damon and his wife Sharon of Athol, John Telepciak of Phillipston; sister-in laws Theresa Stewart and her husband John of Phillipston ,Rose Mallette of Athol and Sharon Shepardson of West Brookfield. Don leaves his mother, Esther Shepardson of Athol; three brothers, John Shepardson and his partner Carol of Wilton, N.H., David Shepardson and his wife Ginny of Roxbury, N.H., and Robert Shepardson and his wife Peggy of Athol; a sister, Judith Howland and her husband Bill of Athol; many nieces and nephews and his in-laws, Jacob and Edna Radisic.
He was predeceased by his father, Daniel E. Shepardson in 2010 and his sister, Nola Shepardson in 2012 and his brother Richard Shepardson
A private celebration of Don's life will be held this summer with burial at Maple Cemetery in West Royalston.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Don's memory to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, Mass. 01701-9376.
Higgins-O'Connor Funeral Home, 146 Main St., Athol is directing arrangements.
For further information or to share a memory with the family go to www.higginsoconnorfuneralhome.com.