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Obituaries » Joseph A. Shephard

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December 23, 1950 - September 21, 2016

A time of visitation will be held on Friday, September 30, 2016 at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM.

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Joseph Aubrey Shephard “Joe the plumber” left this earth Wednesday, September 21, 2016 after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. Though he will be affectionately remembered for being stubborn and ornery, he rarely complained throughout his treatments and was quick to assure everyone that he was feeling just fine. He extends his apologies for any incomplete jobs. Joe was born in Kalamazoo on December 23, 1950, the son of Charles and Anne (Gluchaski) Shephard. He graduated from Portage Northern High School. Joe worked very hard his whole life in the plumbing business; beginning with his father and brothers and then eventually to owning his own business in Kalamazoo; where he considered his customers as friends as well as business partners. He was very proud of his contributions to the development of The Orchards subdivision in Kalamazoo and of his ownership of the Sprinkle Road Plaza for many years. He was also known for his quick wit, quirky sense of humor and his willingness to let you know your faults and how you could correct them regardless if you asked or not. He never passed up a good garage sale; loving the thought of a good deal and an opportunity to haggle! He was an avid collector of many things, but had a particular fondness of hunting, fishing, and Native American items. He loved to go to auctions, antique stores and flea markets. He was the original recycler, saving everything for possible future use for himself or others. Some may call him a high end hoarder; we just knew him as the ultimate collector. Joe was known as a sportsman, who enjoyed nature and hunting as much as feeding the woodland animals nearby. He enjoyed the semi-biographical program American Pickers and going to the movies. He loved going to the casinos to play the slots, almost as much as the cookies, muffins, and gifts he picked up to hand out to friends and family. Joe was a huge fan of science fiction and was convinced that Sasquatch and aliens were amongst us. He hated vegetables, overcooked steaks, people who hogged the passing lane, and following the speed limit. Joe passed having a strong belief in God and heaven above. He loved helping people and talking to them. He was very proud of and dearly loved his boys and their families. Leaving behind to cherish his memory are his wife, Linda Rehmeyer; sons, Donovan (Stephanie), Jeremy (Lindsey), Cody (Kristen) and stepson, James; grandchildren, Eli, Kate, Liana, Audrey, Annabelle, a grandson on the way; sister, Lexie; brothers, Steve and John; nieces, nephews, and best friends, Steve (Cindee) Schiebel, Chris (Rose) Everhardus and Jim (Diane) Murphy. Joe was preceded in death by his mother and father; brothers, Jim, Bob, Chuck and David and sister, Marsha.