Lt. Col Richard's Story

OWLS HEAD - Richard Waring Sheppe, Lt. Col, USMC, Ret., died peacefully, Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Windward Gardens in Camden.

Dick Sheppe had a full military career as a naval aviator in the United States Marine Corps and served his country in three conflicts around the world. Following his retirement from the service, he worked for Westinghouse Electronics in Baltimore and in a number of businesses on the coast of Maine. He fully retired in 1988 but remained active in the Rockland area as a community leader and volunteer, as a private pilot, sailor and skier. He and his beloved wife Muriel have resided in Owls Head for over thirty-five years.

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, August 31, 1926, Richard Sheppe was the son of Dr. William Marco Sheppe and Olive Harris Sheppe. He attended the Severn School in Maryland and the University of Richmond in Virginia before enlisting at age seventeen in the Navy where he served aboard the USS Washington in the final year of World War II. Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, he graduated with his class in June 1949 and took his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After basic training in Quantico, he completed flight training at NAS Pensacola and obtained his wings in 1951. Thereafter he had a rich and accomplished career: he was a fighter pilot, and radar engineer, missile and electronics warfare specialist, and NASA Mercury program candidate. During the Korean War, he flew Corsairs from land and sea; a decade later, it was F-4 Phantoms from the Marine Air Base in Da Nang, South Vietnam. In 1967, he was appointed Naval Attaché to the US Embassy in Kinshasa, D. R. Congo. In addition to his many diplomatic duties there, he also flew transports in support of the United States mission in the Congo and Gabon. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1970.

Richard Sheppe and Muriel Bruning grew up in Wheeling and were married there in 1950. Military life took them to a series of postings in California and on the East Coast. In 1970 they and their four sons moved to Ash Point, Owls Head, a place where he considered himself most at home. He worked for Educasting Ltd in Rockland before a stint at Coastal Engineering in Camden and a few years with Seapro in Rockland. After several years in a senior position at Westinghouse he moved to his present house in Owls Head in 1988. In retirement he gave much of his time and expertise to a number of causes and organizations around Knox County, especially to those concerned with the development of the airport, the Transportation Museum and local health facilities, including Quarry Hill, Bartlett Woods and the Methodist Conference Home in Rockland. He took great pleasure in driving for Meals on Wheels every Wednesday for more than twenty-five years, stopping only recently when his own health began to decline. In all of these activities and in all the friendships he made through them he took the greatest pleasure and pride.

Predeceased by a brother, Dr. William M. Sheppe, Jr., of Charlottesville, Virginia; Dick is survived by his wife Muriel of Owls Head; his sons, Richard Sheppe, Jr. of Post Mills, Vermont.,David Sheppe and his wife Sabine of Riverside, Connecticut, Andrew Sheppe of Champaign, Illinois, James Sheppe of Owls Head and Shrewsbury, England; his five grandchildren Sarah, Andrew, Nathalie, Lauren and Adrian, and their spouses; and five great-grandchildren with one due in May.

A Celebration of Richard Sheppe's life will be held at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Camden, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 10:00 am.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with the Sheppe Family, please visit their Book of Memories at
Published in Bangor Daily News
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