- Special Sections
- Public Notices
"A good man's gone" That was the headline of my father's column on the opinion page in the April 8, 1981 edition of The Lebanon Enterprise. It was about his buddy, John Sheperson, who he referred to as "Shep," who had been working as a Kentucky State Trooper in Marion County for 11 years and had been promoted to sergeant, which meant he would be working in Morehead instead of Marion County. I was only a year old at the time, so I obviously didn't read this particular piece by my father, but a copy of the article was given to me last week after Mr. Sheperson passed away. "John Sheperson... That name sounds so familiar to me," I thought to myself, but I didn't know why. And it wasn't because he was so well known throughout the field of emergency services or because he was one of the people who founded the Marion County Rescue Squad. While I respect those accomplishments, that wasn't the reason Mr. Sheperson's name was so memorable to me. After racking my brain all morning, I suddenly realized why I knew his name so well. It's because he sent a letter to me after my father passed away a couple of years ago. As you can imagine, my twin sister and I received hundreds of letters after our father died, but Mr. Sheperson's letter was one that I will always treasure. Inside the sympathy card he sent me was a note that read, "Your dad was a special person. He was a friend to all emergency services." And inside the card he had sent me a copy of a letter to the editor he wrote when my father left the Enterprise in 1987 for a promotion in Bardstown. He spoke highly of my father and how supportive my father was of emergency services in Marion County. My father apparently went to bat for local emergency services and tried to help them get needed equipment. He also tried to help the community understand the importance of emergency services, like the rescue squad, by writing about it on the opinion pages. At the end of his letter to the editor that he wrote in 1987, Mr. Sheperson said, "There is no doubt that Steve Lowery built a small fire in Marion County by helping people recognize the needs of the community and bestowing credit to the people whose good deeds would have gone unnoticed except for Steve's interest in the community. Marion County is a better place because of the spark created by Steve Lowery." Mr. Sheperson's words made my heart swell with pride during a very, very sad time in my life. I was so grateful to him for sending me that letter because I may have never read it otherwise. Before my father's death, I don't think I had ever spoken to Mr. Sheperson, unless you count those times my sister and I were with my father while he and Mr. Sheperson chatted. At that time, we were two rambunctious kids pulling at our dad's pockets, trying to get him to buy us some ice cream. All we cared about was how many scoops dad would buy us. But, apparently, Mr. Sheperson felt the same sort of admiration toward my father as my father felt for him. I don't think I ever thanked Mr. Sheperson for sending me that letter and reminding me what a great newspaper editor my father was during his time here at the Enterprise. I wish I had taken the time to say thank you. So, to make up for it, I would like to publish my father's column from 1981 in honor of Mr. Sheperson. My father couldn't have said it any better... "A good man's gone." *** Written by Steve Lowery April 8, 1981 John Sheperson is going to get mad when he reads this story, but he'll get over it. You see, Sheperson, who has been a Kentucky State Trooper in Marion County for the past 11 years, hates to receive publicity. He's one of those guys who will give a reporter a great quote and then say, "don't use my name." So the reporter has to throw away the quote. So, why is Sheperson in the limelight today? He recently was promoted to the rank of sergeant; on Monday, he left to work in Morehead. Believe me, Sheperson's departure is a great loss to the county. (I can just imagine Shep's face getting good and red now. Sorry, buddy.) Most of the people in the county probably don't realize that John was one of the people who founded the Marion County Rescue Squad. He helped build it into a professional organization composed of volunteers who are on call round the clock. He has been a volunteer firefighter on the Gravel Switch Fire Department. He has worked closely with all of the other emergency service organizations in the county and he's never asked for more than the financial support of fiscal court and other governmental agencies. Sheperson represents the best of emergency service personnel. He's not a hot dog and he tries his best to serve his fellow man. A native of Boyle County who is married and has three children, Shep has maintained a low profile. He's a good man. The 36-year-old Gravel Switch resident dropped by the newspaper office on Friday to talk. He was dressed in his off-duty clothes - bib overalls and a blue cap that covered his sandy red hair. The conversation went something like this: Question: Would you like to say something to the people of the county, John? Answer: "Just write 'he's gone'." Question: Wouldn't you like to say something else? Answer: "Well, tell the people that if they are going to ask the (Lebanon Volunteer) Fire Department to make runs in the county, then they need to give them some equipment. "There's a world of difference in the equipment that the department has now than that it used to have but it still needs equipment." Question: What about the rescue squad? Answer: "Bernard Abell will be the commander of the squad and he'll do a good job. The squad still needs the support of the community." Question: Are you excited about leaving? Answer: "Naw, I'm looking forward to getting back here, but that will be down the road. I'm going to try to work my way back to this post." Question: Would you like to say anything else? Answer: "Naw, I've never been much at sayin' goodbye or hello." John, the county will miss you more than you'll ever know.