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

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.