(1917 - 2015)
Don was born in Canada and lived the early part of his life in Florida. He’d worked as a draftsman in the navy yard in Charleston, South Carolina, both as a civilian and as a member of the Navy. He and his wife, Marjorie, moved to Denver and came to Evergreen for a short getaway, falling in love with the town after seeing the lake. They moved here in 1951.
Don took over the real estate business for Hal Davidson in 1953 for two years when Davidson was drafted into the army. In 1956, shortly after Davidson returned, Don purchased another realty office from Harry Rockey – just next door to Davidson on the busy corner of downtown Evergreen just below the dam. Every December the window facing the street displayed an impressive crèche scene for the Christmas season. Shephard Realty remained in that location for approximately 50 years until redesign of the intersection soon after 2000 that caused both real estate offices to be demolished. It then relocated to the lower end of Main Street where, as of this writing, it continues to operate as a full-service agency (sales and rentals) in its 56th year under the direction of Don’s son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Carole Shephard.
"For most of my early years here, the only traffic light was at the junction of Highways 73 and 74. Shephard Realty and neighboring businesses were not happy to see their businesses demolished when the State changed the intersection," he said. Don refers to the updated traffic pattern as "Confusion Corners."
Don was one of the earliest members of Evergreen Kiwanis Club, which formed in 1951, serving also as a Chamber of Commerce in the early days. He is the only person with the club ever to receive recognition for 50 years of perfect attendance. He was the outdoor chairman of the Evergreen Boy Scouts Troop 888 for 11 years. He continues to serve as liaison between the Evergreen Kiwanis Club, sponsor of the troop, and Troop 888.
"The Kiwanis put on the follies for three or four years at the high shool -- a variety show," Gerry Olde contributed. "Don sang in the choir, and I was one of the dancing girls. It would run two consecutive Friday and Saturday nights and always sold out. Back in the early days people enjoyed each other more -- people didn't spend as much time watching television or commuting. Don always participated in the most worthwhile Kiwanis activities such as putting up signs for the Triple Bypass."
Don built the first house on Pine Drive in Hiwan Hills.
As a member of the Church of the Transfiguration, he was chair of the building committee leading up to moving from the Mission church into the new Episcopal church in 1963. He was active in managing the property owned by the Church – 23 buildings on 9 acres – and served on the Vestry Committee, which essentially runs the church, he explained.
The Evergreen Conferences, a series of 6-week summer schools on liturgical music for church musicians, and summer schools for clergy, church workers, and youth, started in 1907 and were housed in the now historical buildings known as Williams House (currently The Attachment Center) and Meeting House (now Center/Stage). For approximately 80 years, people traveled from all over the country to Evergreen to attend these sessions. For awhile Don served as President of the Evergreen Music Conference, a private program that was one of the iterations of the early Evergreen Conferences, catering in particular to the Episcopal community. This was a time when the old buildings had to be modernized and upgraded for utilization during winter months.
He was part of the original group that started the Chamber of Commerce in the late 1950s, an effort that operated in fits and starts in the early years when there weren’t many business people with interest in a year-round organization devoted to commerce.
Don was the first president of the Evergreen Board of Realtors in 1966, an organization founded by Don Shephard and Hal Davidson that later became known as the Mountain Metro Association of Realtors. The organization, among other things, emphasized the difference between agents who sold real estate and REALTORSR who were members expected to subscribe to a strict code of ethics and expect to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. There were 21 REALTORSR initially, Don recalled.
In addition, Don was active for many years in the Masonic Lodge.
Sources: Don and Marjorie Shephard, Gerry Olde, and Evergreen, Our Mountain Community