ILNews

Chief Justice's father passes away

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Within the Hoosier legal community, Richard S. Shepard may get the most recognition as the father of Indiana's chief justice.

But the Evansville man's life stands out on its own, ranging from island-hopping invasions in World War II to being a franchiser who helped pioneer the fast-food revolution of McDonald's.

The 87-year-old father of Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard died Sunday in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Born in Chicago to Earle L. and Mary Schilling Shepard on May 11, 1921, Richard Shepard was part of a family that's been in the Hoosier state since its days as a territory. Evansville knew him best for his association with the Golden Arches and first bringing the franchise to the Tri-State area, according to his obituary.

When fewer than 100 McDonald's restaurants existed nationally, Shepard and his business partner opened their first restaurant in August 1959. The two opened 12 stores in Indiana and Kentucky as McDonald's grew to 15,000 locations worldwide. In 1961, he was among 14 members of the first graduating class at Hamburger University, the company's worldwide management training center based in Illinois.

Shepard started his business career in Lafayette with Sears Roebuck & Co., where he served as credit department manager and worked at stores in Illinois and Kentucky before pursuing the McDonald's franchise.

He graduated in 1942 from DePauw University, where he met his future wife Dorothy Donlen Shepard. The two married in April 1943 and recently celebrated their 65th anniversary.

Following college, Shepard went through officer training with U.S. Coast Guard Academy and eventually served in World War II. He advanced to lieutenant junior grade and served as an officer on a landing ship tank, participating in multiple invasions including New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; daughter, Judith Shepard Horn; son, Chief Justice Shepard; and two granddaughters.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Ziemer Funeral Home's East Chapel, 800 S. Hebron Ave., Evansville. Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Memorial Park, 2200 Mesker Park Drive, Evansville. Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 6301 Old Boonville Highway #B, Evansville, IN 47715, or to DePauw University, P.O. Box 37, Greencastle, IN 46135. Condolences may also be made at www.ziemerfuneralhome.com.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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