A Life Lived: Trond Shepard’s love for God, family, and church marked his life

Published 11:49 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
Gary Trond Shepard’s life was marked by his love for God, his family, and church, and his Christian love touched many lives.
“He blessed a lot of people’s lives through his Christian love,” said his wife, Ruth. “He believed, and I do, too, that as God blesses us, we are to bless others.”
Trond was a hard worker. He went to work as a boy of 16 years of age, working on the weekends and during the summer months with his father, who was a foreman at Summers-Taylor Construction. “He learned everything about lots of equipment, and when he was older, he worked as a mechanic,” shared Ruth. “He could do lots of things in addition to his mechanic work. He could plumb, do construction and electrical work, paint. We never had to hire anything done, because he could do it.” And, much of his know-how he passed on to his four sons, Gary Jr., Alan, Darren, and Scott.
He also passed his love for the Lord onto his sons, whom Ruth said all go to church as well as the grandchildren.
Trond and Ruth were married 64 years. “After we met, church was the first place he asked me to go with him, and we’ve been going ever since,” she said.
He was a member of Roan Street Church of God, as is Ruth. Trond served as a greeter and in earlier years he served as the church’s secretary-treasurer. “We raised our children in church…Trond left a wonderful heritage to his children and grandchildren,” Ruth shared.
Trond was a very energetic person in his younger years, and Ruth described him as a “family person.” When they were younger and their boys small, they would often go for long drives in the country. “We would stop at a country store, get the boys a Pepsi and some peanuts, which went into the Pepsis. It didn’t take much back then to have a good time,” Ruth said.
Trond never retired until the age of 75. He then took up walking, and had an old walking stick he carried with him. “For the longest time he enjoyed walking the Tweetsie Trail and as time went on he walked a lot downtown. He stayed active even after he retired,” said Ruth.
Trond also liked hotdogs. That was his go-to food, however, his wife shared that he was not a picky eater.
“He was a very caring person. Whenever I mentioned something that I’d like to do to the house, such as paint or do a little remodeling, he would always do it. He was always very giving. God really blessed our lives together,” Ruth shared.
When it came to church, he loved the old hymns, and for many years he played the keyboard in church, his wife said.
“He loved to read the Bible and every night he read his Bible for about an hour or longer. Bible reading keeps you on solid ground, or it has for us. Trond enjoyed going to church and when churches, especially during COVID, quit having Sunday night services, he just couldn’t quite understand it,” Ruth said.
She shared that Trond was happiest when giving to others and serving the Lord.
Trond Shepard died December 14 at the age of 84. He was laid to rest at Happy Valley Memorial Park.
There’s an old Irish Proverb that says, “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”
Trond Shepard was a giver, and he shared not only his talents, but his blessings and love for the Lord with all he came in contact with.

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