James "Jim" W. Shephard, 73, Labadie, passed away peacefully at home Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011.

He was born Oct. 3, 1938, in Washington to James T. and wife Alberta "Bertie" Shephard.

Mr. Shephard is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Anna Lee, nee Schuster; two daughters, Marianne Roybal and husband Mitch and Suzanne Link and husband Richard; and two granddaughters, Morgan and Katherine Link. He also is survived by his mother, Alberta; three brothers, David  and wife Pat, Paul and wife Diane and Mark and wife Ferny; one sister, Carolyn Smith and husband Ronald; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, James T.; and a brother, Thomas.

His true loves were his family, being out amongst nature and reading. He was a dedicated and lifelong conservation advocate. He maintained an unwavering respect, curiosity and love for nature.

His daily passion for watching "God's Work in the Woods" allowed him the privilege of witnessing many extraordinary experiences. He was a voracious reader with a photographic memory who constantly challenged himself and others to learn.

Mr. Shephard proudly served his country in the U.S. Army and Missouri National Guard. Many knew him from his 40-plus years of service at Ralston Purina Research Farm.

He valued and enjoyed being a charter member of Gray Summit Lions Club and a longtime member of the Masonic Order. He was a private man with a sharp wit. He was blessed with artistic, musical and athletic gifts along with a dedicated family.

Pastor Anne Wathen officiated the celebration of his life Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Nieburg-Vitt, Thiebes Funeral Home, Pacific.

Interment was in St. Martin's Cemetery, Dittmer.

Memorials may be made to the Scenic Regional Library or the Gray Summit United Methodist Church.

The family was served by Nieburg-Vitt, Thiebes Funeral Home, Pacific.

"A man of courage is also full of faith" - Marcus T. Picero

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." - George Bernard Shaw

"In all things of nature there is something marvelous." - Aristotle

"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir