POWDERLY – Herman Shepherd, 94, of Powderly, Kentucky, passed peacefully on November 18, 2023.
Herman was predeceased by his parents, Hence and Lillie, as well as ten siblings, and his son, Delmer. He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Vernadean, and his two sons, Dean and Roger (Cindy). He is also survived by two siblings, Hence Shepherd, Jr. and Evelyn Shepherd Brashear. Herman is survived by four grandchildren, Kim Weatherford (Gary), Denny Shepherd, Renee Kirtley (Matt), and Ashlea Shepherd, as well as seven great-grandchildren.
Herman was born on August 30, 1929, in Perry County, Kentucky. When he was just in the fourth grade, Herman went to work as a water boy for the workers bringing in electricity to Perry County’s blossoming coal industry. While he did not return to formal education, he was whip smart, with an innate dedication to hard work and business sense. His wife, Vernadean, loves to recall when she first met him in January 1950, immediately winning over her heart with his unmistakable grin, and a brand new red Jeep he had purchased with the efforts of his hard labor. They were married on April 21, 1950, and enjoyed more than 73 years of marriage to one another.
After Herman’s first son, Gene “Dean” Shepherd, was born in March 1951, Herman joined the United Mine Workers of America Union, and became a career coal miner to support his growing family. Delmer and Roger came along in the years following, and Herman is remembered for being a loving and dedicated father to his sons. Vernadean recalls Herman’s marked involvement in raising the children, at a time when such a thing was rare. Dean and Roger remember that Santa would visit the Shepherd children at their home each Christmas, but oddly, Herman never seemed to be around when this would occur.
In 1967, Herman moved his family to Ohio County, and then Muhlenberg County, chasing the flatlanders’ coal of Western Kentucky. He was known by his co-workers and friends for always having a quick wit, and for playing more than a few practical jokes to lighten the strenuous work of the mines. He retired from Peabody Coal Company in 1991, and has enjoyed a long, well-deserved retirement. As a grandfather and great-grandfather, Herman found great happiness in helping new generations of Shepherd children grow to have his same sense of work ethic and dedication to their families. Herman was baptized at the age of 93, becoming a member of Willow Glen Church of Christ.
Herman will be remembered fondly by all who knew and loved him, and his legacy is one that will continue, thanks to his many years of devotion to his family. At Herman’s request, there will be a private, graveside service only on November 20, 2023. Tucker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.tuckerfuneralhomes.com.