Obituary of Richard Noel Sheppard
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Richard Noel Sheppard, a retired Sergeant for the Burlington Police Department, passed unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. He was 82 years old. Dick was born in Everett. He was the son of Wilson “Doug” and Lenore Sheppard. He lived four years in Everett, then five years in Malden before the family settled in Burlington in 1949. While being raised as a young boy, Dick played baseball as a member of Burlington’s first Little League team in 1952. The “Pony League” was co-founded by his father. He also enjoyed scouting with members of the Boy Scouts, Troop 1, during the early 1950’s.
Dick graduated from Burlington High School in 1958 where he was a member of the high school’s baseball team. In 1959, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era and the Cold War. While most did their basic training and then were shipped off to an Army base, Dick was assigned to Battery A of the 3rd Missile Battalion stationed in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He was assigned to the Nike Ajax Missile Operation located in Burlington, MA. The actual missile site was located on the property that is now home of Northeastern University and the guidance system was located in the Winnmere section of Burlington at the current home of Overlook Park. He served over 3 years and was discharged as a Private First Class in March of 1962.
Dick “The Duke” joined the Burlington Police Department in 1965 and served in multiple roles including Juvenile Officer, Detective, firearms instructor, and retired as a Sergeant in 2002. He served during some harrowing times including the bombing of the police station, multiple bank robberies and several high profile cases. His partner when he was a detective was Gerry Crocker, who was also one of his best friends. He was lead investigator in some of the town’s most prominent crimes in its history. He also worked with the White House Secret Service during President George Bush’s visit to Burlington. Dick was extremely proud to be a member of the Burlington Police Department and his contribution to keeping his hometown safe. He also enjoyed the camaraderie shared with his fellow officers. They would spend their days working and then socialize as families. His gang of friends, Jerry Crocker, Harry Sawyer, Dick Hovasse, Sonny Morandi, Bob Hyde, Bob Aloisi, and Bob Matarazzo were friends for life. They had their poker and backgammon games, went on trips and cruises together, breakfasts at Bickford’s, dinners at The Cafe Escadrille, family cookouts, and always had each other’s backs.
Dick had an incredible devotion to his family and they were his primary focus in life. He and his wife Sandra were a team and did so much together and have wonderful memories shared as a couple. They were members of the Caballero’s Car Club and regularly attended car shows and trips to Lake Winnipesaukee together. There is nothing Dick wouldn’t do for his beloved, Sandy. Dick was also a long standing member of the Mason’s. As a father, he only wanted the best for his son and daughter. Just as his father did for him, Dick coached his son’s baseball teams and was always present at his daughter’s games, recitals, and activities. He was so proud of his son for following in his path in law enforcement as a member of the Burlington Police Department. Family vacations were spent at Lubec, Maine and on the shores of Cape Cod. He found the sport of golf in his forties, and it was something he shared with his family. He played with his children and taught and played with his grandchildren. He often partnered with his son and daughter for local tournaments like the Burlington Golf Classic, the Ferren Memorial Tournament, and Danny’s Day. He played regularly until he was 80 years old. He was blessed to have all his family live less than a mile from his home. It gave him the opportunity to be deeply involved in his grandchildrens’ lives as they grew up. You could always see him and Sandy at their grandchildren's sporting events, recitals, and school events. He was their biggest cheerleader. Because of his healthy lifestyle and strong fitness routine it was a shock to his family and friends with his sudden passing. Dick will be remembered as a man with a big heart who loved his family, friends and community. His memory will forever be held in the hearts of those he loved and cared for.
Dick was a beloved husband of 60 years to Sandra (Ferraro) Sheppard of Burlington. He was the proud father and father-in-law of Keith Sheppard & his wife Chrissy of Burlington and Holly Dineen & her husband Sean of Burlington. He was predeceased by his sisters Beverly Gibson and Sandra Bouley. He was the loving grandfather of Samantha, Jessica, & Ricky Sheppard and Siena Dineen.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home on Monday, February 20 from 4-7 p.m. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 21 at 9am, followed by a funeral service at the Heritage Park Baptist Church, www.heritageparkbc.org, 129 Lexington St., Burlington at 10am. Services will conclude with a burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington.
Memorials in Dick’s name may be made to the American Heart Association, www.heart.org, 300 5th Ave, Waltham, MA 02451.
For online guestbook and video tribute see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050