|George Albert "Al" Shepp|
SHEPP, GEORGE ALBERT "AL", 93, passed away peacefully November 25, 2008 after a short,
valiant fight against cancer. He was born in Denver, CO, on April 18, 1915, the son of James and Serena Shepp.
His parents were married in the old St. James Catholic
Church in 1913. He graduated from St. Joseph's Academy in 1932. On April 5, 1937, he wed Frances Rita Girouard, his childhood sweetheart and
the love of his life. They were married at St. James Catholic Church where they have been lifelong members. They were happily
married for 68 years when she passed away in July 2005. He lived at Westminster Towers since then where he enjoyed the various outings and activities.
He is survived by their four children, Gerry of Winter Park,
Carol Kalter (Howard) of Colchester VT, Mike (Peggy) of Lutz, FL and Frank
(Carleen) of Mount Dora. They also had six grandchildren, Theresa Kalter Quintin, Helen
Shepp Green, Michael Shepp Jr., David Shepp, Paula Kalter Gervia, and Kathy
Shepp Boyd, and seven great-grandchildren, Jordan and Parker Green, William Shepp, Andrew Gervia,
Jacob, Tyler and Aiden Boyd. He was predeceased by two great-grandchildren, Charles Green and Kaitlyn Boyd. He is also survived by his
sister-in-law, Elma Connolly of Eustis and several nieces and a nephew. He was a lifetime Fourth Degree member of Knights of Columbus
Council #2112, having joined at the age of 18. He served the KofC as Grand Knight, State Secretary and State Deputy. He traveled
throughout the state of Florida as part of the Fourth Degree Installation team.
Throughout the years he enjoyed playing in the softball, bowling and golf leagues with his fellow Knights.
He treasured the friendships he developed through the years. In his late teens and
twenties he played Diamond Ball on a traveling team. He went to work for Kissam Builders Supply
Co. (now Florida Rock Industries) because of his ball playing. An accountant
by trade, he spent over 58 years in the building materials industry, before
retiring in 1990. He was considered the father of the Hollow Metal trade in Central Florida and was both well-known and
respected throughout the industry for his integrity. He and Rita enjoyed traveling;
they enjoyed cruises with the Knights to European ports and trips throughout the US. In
lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.
The family will receive friends Monday, December 1st, from 6-8PM
at Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, 2811 Curry Ford Road, Orlando.
The Funeral Mass will be held at
10AM Tuesday, December 2nd, at St. James Catholic Cathedral with a reception to follow in
the Parish Center. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery.
CAREY HAND COLONIAL FUNERAL HOME, Orlando. 407-898-2561
He was very much a traditional gentleman with strong emphasis on “gentle.” He believed in the church and
even though saying the rosary is no longer a part of family visitation, he wanted that. As he became more
and more frail, he still insisted on going to Sunday mass. It was part of who he was of what was important
to him. During the recent and difficult years as mom’s health waned, they would watch mass on TV (and you
better not contact them during that time) and they had communion brought to them every week.
Dad was devoted to the Knights of Columbus, serving in many, many positions. In 1976, dad’s closest friend,
Frank Cilento, was elected State Grand Knight and dad was elected State Secretary. Good friends, they often
worked as a team. I remember an evening of celebration on that occasion that would soon turn to sadness when Frank died suddenly of a heart attack. Dad became State Grand Knight, fulfilling Frank’s term. Frank and Grace Cilento were perhaps mom and dad’s closest and dearest friends, and Frank, who had a magnificent voice, sang at mom and dad’s wedding. Dad was a State Deputy and for a long time served as a member of the Fourth Degree installation team. He traveled for many, many years all around the state performing the installation service.
In the last 7 or 8 years, dad’s sight was such that he could no longer drive and he voluntarily stopped driving, or so we thought. We did learn that at least twice, he drove with mom as his copilot—once to take her for a haircut and once to get the lawn mower from the repair shop. As you can imagine, that truly scared the you-know-what out of us when we learned about it. His reasoning-—he didn't want to bother any of us! We also learned that he tied the lawn mower to the faucet in the yard and walked behind it as it wound itself closer and closer to a faucet. He used this method on several potions of the almost one acre of land that surrounded the house. Inventive and effective, but not very practical. Eventually, he did agree to a lawn service to take care of the yard. We took turns getting him about when he needed to run errands, and almost every Saturday, I would take him grocery shopping. I quickly learned a routine and could shop without a list. He had a few quirks—for example, he might remember something that he wanted that was on an aisle that we had already been down. Once, I slipped back to get the item, and was severely reprimanded for going backwards! That simply wasn’t on his schedule. He really did not like it when Publix rearranged product placement in the store! Sometimes I would suggest or recommend an item that I thought they might like, something that might be different for them and sometimes he would take a chance and purchase that item. If it was not acceptable to mom, I was informed the next week not to ever get that item again. There was one item that no matter how much I tried to get him to choose otherwise, it was always met with a stern “No.” That was ice cream, vanilla ice cream, not chocolate or strawberry or any other flavor, just vanilla. For a few years, they did indulge in Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup topping their nightly dish of ice cream, but Hersey’s must have done something wrong because suddenly the Chocolate Syrup was a no/no.
When he moved into Westminister Towers, they often had an afternoon ice cream social. If we arrived back from an errand, he made a beeline for the ice cream—vanilla, no toppings, syrup, or sprinkles. During the last few weeks, ice cream was one of the few food items we or anyone could get him to try to eat. Monday night, I visited him at ORMC (it will always be ORMC to me), I noticed that he had eaten maybe one bite of the food on his plate. There was ice cream there, but they had dared to bring him a cup of chocolate ice cream, and when I mentioned the ice cream, he gave me a look that said it all and I decided to just remain quiet.
Mom was a small package of determination and dad was the quiet one. She could accomplish much with a look, a “..wait until your father gets home” or a simple “I heard that.” When she informed him of any transgression, he spoke quietly but firmly and you really felt guilty for whatever it was you had done or not done as you should have done it. It pleases us greatly that after the past three plus years, they are once again together, once again a very special couple.
Following this service, the family invites you to join us for refreshments in the church social hall. I will advise you, and I’m sorry Dad, there won’t be ice cream.
Hits since November 26, 2008
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