Cover photo for John L.  Shepherd's Obituary
John L.  Shepherd Profile Photo
1923 John 1923

John L. Shepherd

November 4, 1923 — November 4, 1923

John L. Shepherd died on November 4, 2023, in Rockford, Illinois. He spent his final days with his family and was holding the hand of his wife, Suzanne, when he died. John was many things to many people, but most importantly, he was a dad. A dad who coached T-ball, soccer, was in the audience at school events and front and center at his kids’ most important moments. He loved to travel with Suzie and his children, Lisa, Christopher and Carrie, and to spend time with his grandchildren, Kiersten, Declan, Nolan, Wyatt and Dylan. John was a voracious reader and lover of sports, as both an athlete and a fan. He was always the best trivia player and combined that skill with his fandom to win a 1983 Pontiac Trans Am and trip to the Super Bowl during a contest on ESPN. He was a crossword puzzle master, a wonderful storyteller and endless source of pithy sayings.


John was born on January 15, 1947, in Pontiac, Illinois, and grew up in Odell. He met Suzie in 1965 at a record hop and they were married on June 21, 1969, the same day John graduated from University of Illinois. They joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and lived and traveled in the western U.S. They once saw Elton John (before he was famous) at a little club in San Francisco, a story John liked to tell his kids. John and Suzie then settled back in Chicago where he graduated from John Marshall Law School in 1975, and they moved to Rockford in 1978.


In addition to the 36 years he practiced law with WilliamsMcCarthy, John was selected by his peers in 2010 as the “Workers’ Compensation Lawyer of the Year,” served as president of the Winnebago County Bar Foundation and was a Fellow for the Illinois State Bar Association, where he frequently gave speeches about workers’ comp. He served on the boards of Rosecrance and Janet Wattles Mental Health Center.


John is survived by his wife of 54 years, Suzanne, as well as his children Lisa (Jason) Cortez, Christopher (Andrea) Shepherd, Carrie Shepherd (Matthew Planer) and his five grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings, Marcia Sandford, Tutti Davis and Gary Shepherd, as well as many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Maxine Shepherd.


Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 2400 Bell Av. Rockford. Visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. Monday, November 20, 2023, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Riverside Chapel, 3910 N. Rockton Av. Private family burial. Share online condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.






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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, November 20, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Riverside Chapel

3910 North Rockton Avenue, Rockford, IL 61103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Riverside Chapel

3910 North Rockton Avenue, Rockford, IL 61103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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