Leo Shepard

Obituary of Leo P. Shepard

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Leo Paul Shepard Jr. “Shep”

Malta, NY


If you are reading this then you know I am in paradise with Jesus and I wanted to tell you my own story because no one knows it better than myself.


I started my journey on this earth June 4, 1947 the oldest of three siblings born to Leo Shepard Sr and Margaret Shepard. Three years later my beautiful sister Lyn joined our family and then 3 years after that my amazing brother Ron rounded out our family. We sadly lost our dear brother Ron in his early 20’s which was a great loss to our family.


Although born in New York City we moved to Cohoes, NY where I spent all of my childhood years. As a child I was always playing sports including Football, Baseball, Soccer, Judo and Weightlifting. This led me to having the opportunity to participate in the junior Olympics for powerlifting and play semi-professional football.


After graduating from Cohoes High, the first of many blessings came into my life, my first born Dan. Shortly after Dan was born my first professional adventure began with the opening of my corner bar ‘Shep’s Tavern’ in Cohoes. I loved that bar and made many lifelong friends.


After owning Shep’s Tavern for many years I had the opportunity to help open Reflections East Disco in Watervliet. Going from a corner bar to a disco took some getting used to especially having to wear a suit with a ruffled tuxedo shirt daily! It was here that God brought through the door a beautiful woman who would become the love of my life for 44 years! Kim and I were married September 12, 1982 and she forever changed my life. We were blessed to have a beautiful son, Jason and a couple years later my princess Meaghan was born. At this point I had a loving wife, three children and a successful career and thought my life was complete. However, I soon realized that the night club life was not the life for raising children and decided to start another adventure in the food service business. This new adventure brought our family from Cohoes to Malta, NY and gave us the opportunity to own our own businesses as well as gave me the opportunity to be the general manager of Friendly Restaurants and Golden Corral as well as the food service director for SUNY Albany and Skidmore college where I retired from. Similar to my years at Shep’s Tavern and Reflections, the food service business gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and make many more lifelong friends.


I tried the retiring thing for about 3 months and unsurprising to all it was not for me! I began working at Northeast Courier doing something I loved doing…driving and singing along to great music! I was very thankful for this job and did it up until a few months ago.


Although my professional career was successful, I was even prouder of my other full-time job which was being a father. Spending countless hours coaching, attending practices, games, school functions and basically anything my children were involved in brought me such joy and great memories.


I will try and wrap this up and tell you about the last 11 years of my life. My son Jason and daughter in law Amy blessed us with the most beautiful three grandchildren a man could ever ask for. Nora, Grant and Evelyn are the loves of my life. Just when I thought I was blessed beyond measure my daughter Meaghan blessed us with the sweetest little girl, Taylor. I could now say with certainty that my life was complete and I spent the rest of my life making beautiful memories swimming with them, attending their games and making sure they knew I loved them more than life itself.


If you are still reading this and I pray you are, I need to tell you about a very important part of my life. With much prayer from Kim, she convinced me to attend the church her and my children attended. It was there that I gave my life to Christ and will forever be grateful to Greater Grace Community Church and Pastor David Moore for leading me to my salvation almost 25 years ago.


In March of 2020, life gave me a curveball when I found out I had pancreatic cancer. Like all challenges I’ve received in my life I fought this challenge head on for four years which included a 10 hour surgery and 74 rounds of chemo. Although these four years had its challenges, I praise God that he allowed me to handle it all so well and was able to still work, enjoy my beautiful family and make so many lasting memories for me and them. Over the last month, although my mind was as sharp as ever my body was getting tired and I spent my final days at home surrounded by my family and I peacefully fell asleep and went to be with the Lord on March 2, 2024.


Last but not least I need to mention my lifelong friends that I will miss dearly; Gary Oliver, Al Aubin, Bob Signoracci, Jack Oliver and Mike Fitzgerald. I also want to thank the staff at Saratoga Oncology for all you did to give me more time with my family and my endocrinologist and friend of 20 years Dawn Dluge-Aungst.


I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this. Thank you for making this life more than I could have ever dreamed and I hope I added joy, laughter and probably a big hug or two to your life. Please remember there is “Nothing Stronger than Family” and no matter what is going on in your life “every day your feet hit the ground is a good day”.


My prayer is all my friends and family find the joy and peace I did once I gave my life to Christ and join me in heaven where I will welcome you with a giant hug. I love you all.



Funeral services will be held at the DUFRESNE FUNERAL HOME, Inc., 216 Columbia Street, Cohoes on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 10:00am.  Interment will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Waterford.  The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday from 4 to 7pm.

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Leo Shepard

In Loving Memory

Leo Shepard

1947 - 2024

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