CHARLESTON - Maurice (Maury) Daniel Shepherd, age 86, of Charleston, passed away Friday evening, August 7, 2020, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. A graveside service, with military rites, honoring and celebrating his life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, 2020, at Mound Cemetery, Charleston, Illinois. The family requests that masks be worn when social distancing is not possible. There will be no public visitation.
Maury was born September 12, 1933, in Albion, Illinois, son of Harry B. and Lucy L. (McCollum) Shepherd. He is survived by his three children, Donna (Jeff) Stewart, David (Dottye) Shepherd and Daniel (Lisa) Shepherd; six grandchildren Kelly (Terrence) Barrett, Kyle (Renee) Stewart, Lindsey, Drew (Sherena), Maura, and Ryan Shepherd; four great-grandchildren, Jeremiah and Noah Barrett and Olivia and Brynnley Shepherd and two step-great-grandchildren, McKenzie Spear and Madisyn Watson. He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife and the mother of his children, Nadine (Cowling) Shepherd and his second wife, Rose Mary (McCowen) Shepherd.
Before entering the U.S. Navy in 1953, Maury began his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and participated as a member of the Marching Illini band. Maury then served his country as a member of the General’s staff from 1953-1957 on the submarine base at New London, Connecticut. In his later years, he was selected to participate in a Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. He subsequently graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1960, with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry education with minors in physics and mathematics. He completed his master’s degree in 1967, at Indiana University. Further post-graduate coursework included science education graduate studies at the University of Illinois.
He began his teaching career at Olney (Illinois) High School (1960-1962) and continued at Mattoon High School (1962-1967). From 1967 until his retirement in 1992, he was an assistant professor of chemistry and physics at Eastern Illinois University and was the coordinator of chemistry and physics student teachers. Maury started a chemistry contest for area high school teams in 1975. Later renamed in his honor, the Maurice D. Shepherd High School Chemistry Contest continues today. He was the recipient of various awards including the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching on two occasions of which he was particularly proud. Throughout his teaching career, he used his gentle patience and passion to demystify the complex subjects of chemistry and physics for countless students including his grandchildren.
Maury was a member of numerous professional organizations including the Illinois and National Science Teachers Associations, Illinois Association of Teacher Educators, and the Chemical Education Division of the American Chemical Society. He served the Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers on the board of directors as an officer and later as president.
He was an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church and served in multiple capacities including as a charter member and Sunday School teacher of the Friendship Class. Maury joined the Wesley Stephen Ministry team in 1995 and continued to serve until his death.
Maury was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan, supported Eastern Illinois University men’s and women’s athletic programs, and the University of Illinois sports. As an avid golfer, he enjoyed playing many area courses and was part of a competitive group of table tennis players at Eastern Illinois University that participated in many tournaments. As a member of the Marching Illini, he played the trumpet for the halftime show at the 1952 Rose Bowl. He was a proud supporter of the arts, as well, enjoying concerts, musicals, and plays.
Family was Maury’s number one priority. He was actively involved in the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Maury spent multiple years coaching and mentoring his son’s youth baseball teams, assisting with scouting activities, attending church, and golfing, fishing and hunting with his children and grandchildren. As a devoted son, he provided excellent care to his aging parents. As an exceptional father, Maury raised his three young children after the death of his first wife and has given them a legacy that will be forever cherished.
In lieu of flowers, Maury’s family requests that memorials in his honor be made to the EIU Foundation Maurice Shepherd Chemistry Scholarship or Wesley United Methodist Church Stephen Ministry. Gifts may be left at the funeral or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2230 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maurice (Maury) D. Shepherd, please visit our floral store.