Edmund's Story

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ORONO - Edmund M. Sheppard, 82, died June 5, 2016, after a short illness. He was born December 21, 1933 in New Rochelle, New York, the son of Harry Stevenson and Katherine (Loveland) Sheppard.

Ned graduated from University of Miami in 1956 with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Master's degree from MIT in 1958. While at MIT he married Martha Elizabeth Wight, with whom he celebrated 58 years of marriage last October. Following their time in Boston, they moved to West Lafayette, Indiana where Ned received a PhD from Purdue University in 1962.

Ned moved his young family to Orono in the summer of 1962 when he joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at the University of Maine. His career included a sabbatical in 1967 to RCA in Princeton, New Jersey to work on satellite communication systems. In 1973 he was the moving force behind a Kellogg Foundation grant used to establish a clinical engineering laboratory, a precursor to biomedical engineering, to work with Maine hospitals in the purchase, maintenance and training with the high-tech equipment introduced in that era. Ned also spent a year working for the Mitre Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts with communication systems, extending that sabbatical effort by working part-time for Mitre to oversee the implementation of the Back-Scatter Radar system in Moscow, Deblois, and Bangor Maine. A devoted teacher, he was most proud of his students and deeply committed to them. He established an internship program for students with Mitre and created a scholarship for them. Toward the end of his career, he served as the faculty representative to the University of Maine Board of Trustees for several years, a position he found both frustrating and rewarding.

Ned was a skilled woodworker and spent many happy hours in his workshop building furniture, tools and cabinets, as well as toys for his grandchildren. Favorite projects included building the family camp, guest cabin and storage building on Pleasant River Lake - projects that involved the whole family. Little gave him more satisfaction than watching his family work there together. He loved to camp and fish and took the family on many camping trips in the northeast and Canada. Later trips included fly-in fishing and wilderness canoe trips. Exploring family genealogy gave him great joy. He loved to travel and following his retirement in 1997, he and Martha traveled all over the world. Moving into Dirigo Pines in 2003, he enjoyed making new friends there, learning about their lives and sharing his. He cared deeply both about the service he gave and the people in his life. He was always there for his colleagues, friends and family, to listen or lend a hand. He was a well read and a deeply thoughtful man, a reliable friend and had great personal bravery and endurance.

Ned was predeceased by his daughter, Elizabeth Katherine Sheppard in 2013. He is survived by his wife, Martha Wight; his son Stevenson Wight Sheppard; son-in-law Richard Bevins; grandchildren Stevenson Martin Whitaker, Katherine MacMillan Whitaker, Samuel Lello Sheppard, Joseph Edmund Sheppard; and step-granddaughter Sydney Bevins.

A memorial service will be held 11 am Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at St. John's Episcopal Church, 225 French Street, Bangor with the Rev. Canon Marguerite A.H. Steadman, rector, officiating. A reception will immediately follow the service in the church vestry Tuesday. Private family interment will be at Riverside Cemetery, Orono following the reception.

For those who wish to remember Ned in a special way, the family suggests considering a gift to the Edmund M. Sheppard Scholarship at the University of Maine Foundation, Buchanan Alumni House, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792, or to the Orono Public Library, 39 Pine St., Orono, ME 04473. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  June 7, 2016
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