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Obituary for Eric E. "Hootch" Shepherd


WELLSVILLE – “No one loved Wellsville more than he.” Eric Emerson “Hootch” Shepherd, who was born in Wellsville on February 7, 1935, and lived his entire life there, passed away at the age of 83, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

He was a son of the late Daniel F. and Bertha Snyder Shepherd, and was a 1953 graduate of Wellsville High School. He served with the U.S. Army in Korea following graduation and remained an extremely proud American for the rest of his days.

For over 40 years, he worked as a superintendent for American Paper Products, retiring in 1996. A lifetime “people person”, he delivered flowers for the Carriage House and was a constant “behind the scenes” supporter for many local activities. He would often be found fixing up old toys and bicycles for young neighbors and would make constant trips to the cemetery to keep watch over the graves of fellow veterans. His family recalls how he would make sure “every kid had a bike and every veteran had a flag.” A member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, he also belonged to the VFW in Wellsville. He and his wife were honored with the G.W. McMillan Award for their contributions to the Wellsville school system.

On April 10, 1954, he married the former Judy Young, who preceded him in death on October 18, 2002. Together, they took great pride in raising their family in this community.

Surviving are four daughters: Cynthia Aughinbaugh and her husband, Gary, of Midlothian, Texas; Carla Copple and her husband, David, of Monaca, Pennsylvania; Mary Lee Shepherd-Ice of Wellsville; and Holly Monte and her husband, Steve, of North Canton, along with two sons: Eric “Hootch” Shepherd and his wife, Jackie, of Wellsville, and Lew Shepherd and his companion, Michelle Bringhurst, of Dallas, Georgia. Hootch was preceded in death on August 1, 2015 by a son, Michael G. Shepherd. He was also preceded in death by his companion Barbara Burt on January 28, 2013.

Twelve grandchildren also survive: Kelly, Kevin and Kristofer Aughinbaugh; Dana Brown; Justin, Brandon and Billee Ice; Eric III and Amelia Shepherd; Matthew Shepherd; and Megan Swanson and Mario Monte, as well as 12 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his beloved dog and best friend Pootch.

Also preceding Hootch in death are four: sisters Helen Omlor, Frances James, Betty Lemley and Nelda Woosley, and four brothers Hugh Shepherd, Daniel Shepherd, James Shepherd and William Lewis Shepherd.

Friends may visit Sunday afternoon and evening at the Dawson Funeral Home where the family will be present from 4 to 8 p.m. Pastor Dirk Hall and Pastor Rick Stanley will conduct a funeral service Monday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home.

Burial will take place at Spring Hill Cemetery, where the Tri-State Veterans Burial Group will provide full military honors.

To send flowers to the family of Eric E. "Hootch" Shepherd, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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