Deceased April 29, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Tom Shepard '40.png Tom Shepard died on April 29, 2015, in Sarasota, Fla. A Depression-era riches to rags story, Tom was on scholarship and waited tables at his fraternity, Delta Upsilon. Decidedly interested in the Smith ladies, Tom almost flunked out after sophomore year but bet Dean Porter he could make Phi Beta Kappa grades by the end of his junior year. He did just that. Years later, after DU was renamed the C. Scott Porter House, Tom would often pause to remember his favorite Dean.

Following graduation, Tom joined the Vick Chemical Company and married Nancy Kruidenier, Smith ‘41. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy and was assigned to the USS Robert F. Keller (DE-419) as a gunnery officer, serving in six major Pacific battles, conning the ship through Halsey’s Typhoon, and becoming Executive Officer. In 1946, Tom joined Look Magazine and eventually settled in Greenwich, Conn. When the magazine folded in 1971, he was publisher. In retirement, Tom traveled the world with Nancy, his wife of 73 years, stayed current with the news and remained deeply involved with his beloved Amherst. In 1990, he received the Eminent Service Medal. He was president of his class for 20 years and in his quarterly letters admonished classmates to “stay vertical!” His Amherst legacy includes his brother Jack Shepard ‘49, brother-in-law Peter Kruidenier ‘53, nephew Rob Shepard ‘82, son Rocky ‘73, and grandchildren Ashley Lunkenheimer ‘96 and Brian Shepard ‘01.

Tom Shepard '40 and family.png
Rocky Shepard ’73, Ashley Lunkenheimer ’96, Tom and
Brian Shepard ’01

Tom had four children, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Among multiple great stories, Rocky fondly remembers Tom celebrating his 21st birthday at DU with a keg of beer and a poster of baby “Rock The Jock” in an Amherst sweater; Brian remembers crashing Tom’s 60th reunion with his friends; and Ashley has never forgotten Tom’s tale of streaking naked across the campus to earn $5 to date her grandmother!

Sue (Shepard) Jaques

50th Reunion

Thomas Shepard Like Ernest Hemingway's legendary fisherman, my luck she has been running good. Everything about life still beguiles me and, like the morning sun, I feel reborn each day looking for new interests and cherishing my family and friends. What's more, I think there is a teenager inside of me trying to kick its way out. Of course, this may be indigestion, but, as we gather in reunion, I suspect my classmates will have similar symptoms. I'm betting there is still a little mischief left in all of us. Just be alert to anyone with a twinkle or two in his eyes.

Amherst is a good beginning for the saga of Shepard. It gave me four years to grow up. Sadly, I was not a good student, but Amherst did teach me that there are answers out there to virtually every problem if you work at it. And if it had not been for Amherst, the single most important event of my life would not have taken place. Someone told me there was a cute little Dutch girl at Smith who had eyes only for Dartmouth and no time for Amherst. My luck she ran very good and Nancy has been mine ever since. And so have our four married children and nine grandchildren.

Thomas Shepard My first job involved selling and merchandising Vick cold remedies in every state east of the Mississippi. Here's where the growing up process really took place. If I was ever to earn enough money to marry Nancy, it would be because I put up more fibre signs on barns, tin signs on fences and sold more product to druggists, grocers, and wholesalers than anyone else. The war came as I was settling in as Assistant Promotion Manager.

I served in the Navy for nearly five years, first as an Operations Officer on shore bases, and then, finally, as Gunnery Officer and Executive Officer on a destroyer escort in the Pacific area. We participated in six Pacific campaigns and two typhoons.

After the war the Advertising Director of a struggling magazine named Look asked me to come aboard. He was a destroyer man from World War I and very persuasive. I spent the next twenty-six years with this wonderful magazine which in its final days passed all its competition in circulation. Advertising revenue per issue, and editorial excellence. I was the last Publisher of Look. As Publisher, I had my proudest and saddest moments. The economies for giant magazines like Look and Life were not right for the oncoming television age.

After Look, a group of communications executives asked me to form a company to represent all out-of-­home media in the nation. Five years later I retired as president of this concern, still growing and prospering.

Then I was invited to be Chairman of the Robert A. Taft Institute of Government. For five years I worked with a remarkable group of educators holding seminars across the nation on our political system for high school teachers.
Enough. I continue to be involved with non-profit institutions including Amherst. Nancy and I have travelled to every continent and will continue our endless tripping to the world's far comers.