January 27, 1936 ~ July 6, 2022

Born in: Haywood County, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Wayman Shepard Jr., 86, of Asheville, NC, died July 6 at Mission Care Partners after suffering a hip fracture.

Born in Haywood County, NC on January 27, 1936, he was the only son of the late Wayman Shepard and Rosetta Capps Shepard of Asheville, NC. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1953 and graduated from Hanford Joint Union High School in Hanford, CA. Highlights of his naval career included serving with Naval Communications in Kodiak, Alaska and being in Alaska when it became the 49th state; serving on the USS Alamo (LSD-33), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42), and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) on its first deployment; and attending the US Naval Justice School in Newport, RI. When he retired in July 1973, he was a Chief Yeoman with the Naval ROTC at the University of Minnesota.

In 1973, he returned to Asheville and completed the Building Construction program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Institute. He was construction supervisor for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Henderson County until he was injured in an accident. He managed the Radio Shack in west Asheville for three years and then began a career in insurance. He was an agent for NC Farm Bureau for nine years and continued his career as an independent agent managing Fletcher Insurance in Fletcher. He retired in 2000 due to health.

He was an active member of Central United Methodist Church and was a member of the Inquirers Class. He loved cruising and traveling and had visited all 63 National Parks.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Joyce Edna Gherardini Shepard; a son, Michael Louis Shepard and wife, Nancy, of Simpsonville, SC; two daughters, Rhonda Joy Keeley and husband, Michael, of Shelby, NC and Jennifer Ann Nisco and husband, Greg, of Durango, CO; four granddaughters, Anna Blake Keeley, Ellen Joyce Keeley, Margaret Anne Shepard, and Eleanor Jean Shepard; and one grandson, Benjamin Louis Shepard.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 12 at 2 PM at Central United Methodist Church. His family will receive friends at the church on Tuesday from 1:15 – 1:45 PM. A private burial will be held at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801. Groce Funeral Home’s Lake Julian team is assisting the family.


Funeral Service: July 12, 2022 2:00 pm

Central United Methodist Church
27 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Visitation: July 12, 2022 1:15 pm - 1:45 pm

Central United Methodist Church
27 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Private Burial:

Western Carolina State Veteran's Cemetery
962 Old US Hwy 70
Black Mountain, NC 28711


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  1. We always enjoyed Wayman and Mrs. Shepard and daughter Jenny ,who were cheerleaders together at TCRoberson High School. This was a great couple who you never saw one without the other. Our daughter Tina Waddell thought so highly of the whole family. God bless and keep you during this difficult time.

  2. Uncle jr. You will truly be missed. I will always treasure the memories of you. Your smile, your silly grin, and your laughter. You have always been in my thoughts and in my heart. Rest in peace.
    To the family. Prayers for healing and strength you all need. Patty.


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