COLUMBUS -

Fredric “Freddy-Did-It” William Shepard, age 71, passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, on Saturday, September 7, 2013, at the Columbus Nursing & Rehab Center.

He was born on September 27, 1941, at the Columbus Community Hospital to William and Louise (Grueneberg) Shepard. He graduated from Columbus High School, Class of 1960. Fred enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on February 27, 1961, proudly serving 6 years active and then 6 years reserves. He was Honorably Discharged from active duty on February 26, 1967, as 1st Sgt.

During active duty after boot camp at MCRD, San Diego, CA, he completed 2nd Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) Camp Pendleton, CA; Sea School in San Diego; served with the Marine Detachment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany CVA 34 (1961-1963) / 2 years served in SE Asia, Vietnam, and Cambodia; First Force Recon BN, Camp Delmar, CA; 1st Force Service Regiment, Automatic Supply Distribution BN, Ration Co.

Among the earned medals & ribbons he received, there is his Purple Heart. He was a member of the 1st Marine Division Association; United States Seagoing Marines Association; USS Oriskany CVA-34 Reunion Association; Past Commander of Lange-Osterhander-Hurd Post 62 (Columbus) / Life Member; and Life Member of VFW Post 8090 (Columbus). Fred was also member of IBEW Electrical Workers Local Union 159; Honorary Member of the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department, serving as Captain and retired after 30 years; and was a member of the Yellow Thunder Officials Association (1976-1995).

Some of the vocations held during his lifetime included journeyman electrician (Stadler Electric, H&H Electric, Hill Electric, Staff Electric); over the road truck driver (Duffy Bros); terminal manager (Sather / Dana Trucking); part owner of the Towne Tap. But of all of his "many hats" & experiences during his lifetime, Fred will be most remembered as a talented sign painter, something he loved to do from the age of 14, hauling his paints around town in his wagon, to his disabling stroke in 1997, signing the work with his "Freddy-Did-It." Leaving his legacy on hundreds of various jobs, first as a hobby and later as Shepard Signs.

Fred married his "Hon," Joyce (Witthuhn) on December 18, 1982, in Columbus. She survives him along with daughter Brigette Shepard, Columbus; son Fred "Fuzzy" (Marie) Shepard Jr., Fall River; stepdaughter Deana (Andy) Moon, Baraboo; stepson Damon (Sushann) Desjarlais, Dickson TN; brother Robert (Linda) Shepard, Columbus; mother-in-law Norma Witthuhn, Columbus; brother-in-law Jim (Eileen) Witthuhn, Sun Prairie; seven grandchildren Dustin Shepard, Amber Neller, Jordon Neller, Abby Moon, Carly Moon, Jon Moon, Tyler Desjarlais; and one great-grandson, Parker Fredric Ecklund. He is further survived by his nephews; other family members; and friends.

Fred was preceded in death by his mother in 2001, his father in 1997, and father-in-law Earl Witthuhn in 1985.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome – this is what Fred did very well in the last 16 years of his life. Over time, becoming a double amputee with dialysis thrown in. Trading in a Harley (he was one of the original Free Wheelers) for a power wheelchair.

Though physically unable to enjoy life like before, he always enjoyed watching the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and NASCAR, and always starting his weekdays listening to Uncle Bill on WBEV.

Visitation will be held at JENSEN FUNERAL & CREMATION, 248 S. Ludington St., Columbus, on Thursday, September 12, 2013, from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.

Additional visitation will be from 10:00 A.M. until the 11:00 A.M. service time at the funeral home on Friday, September 13, 2013, concluding with military honors. Inurnment will be in Hillside Cemetery, Columbus on Saturday.

Thank you to the staff of the Columbus Nursing & Rehab Center for Fred’s care during his short stay there. Thank you to the staff at the Beaver Dam Dialysis Center for his care during the two years of treatments, to Dr Sam Poser, and to everyone who provided assistance & the much needed muscle in times of need.