Jay Shepherd


Poulsbo, Washington

June 3, 1939 — May 9, 2016

Jay Shepherd, formerly of Astoria, died May 9, 2016, in Poulsbo, Washington, from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 76. Jay was born June 3, 1939, to Martha and Delbert Shepherd in Terre Haute, Indiana. He graduated from Warrenton High School in 1958 and immediately began his service in the Navy, eventually becoming a radio operator. He served until 1963. Jay was introduced to Marlene Oleson at the Viking Roller Rink in Astoria, and said it was love at first sight. They married in 1964.

Jay worked at Abeco in Astoria, using his keen technical skills to repair business machines. He also repaired instruments for Thiel’s Music. He then began an electrical apprenticeship with Snow’s Electric, and found his real calling. He was honored by the Oregon Bureau of Labor as the top electrical apprentice in the state for 1977. He worked as a maintenance electrician for Bumble Bee Seafoods before rejoining Snow’s Electric, which became Wadsworth Electric. He also spent time working for several Bumble Bee canneries in Alaska when work was scarce at home. He retired from Wadsworth in 2002, but continued to stay active with volunteer projects. A lifetime member of the Sunset Empire Amateur Radio Club, call sign W7FBM, Jay was very active in the ham radio community. He was instrumental in setting up WHS’s first ham radio station, K7BMM. He helped everyone in the Warrenton Radio Club obtain their ham radio licenses, including the instructor! Jay built and maintained one of the area’s primary repeaters, and helped maintain several others. He loved the camaraderie with the other hams, and was proud to provide emergency communications when needed.

In addition to ham radio, Jay provided community service as a member and president of the Jaycees. He also served as president and parade chairman for the Astoria Regatta. He helped to restore the Astoria Riverfront Trolley and numerous other behind-the-scenes projects. He also helped many friends and family members with radio, electrical and computer projects. You name it, he could fix it, and he enjoyed the challenge. He always had a project going.

In his later years, Jay took up bowling, and was a member of several bowling leagues. He especially had fun bowling with the folks at Hilltop Bowl in Ilwaco. He and Marlene traveled multiple times to Alaska and Hawaii, and took road trips to Arizona, California, Wyoming, Montana and Canada. He loved spending time with his kids and grandkids, playing games and flying kites in Long Beach.

Jay is survived by Marlene, his wife of 51 years; brother John Shepherd (Carol) of Hammond; sisters-in-law Ginny Shepherd of Astoria and Sandra Shepherd of Springfield; daughters Jennifer Shepherd (Kurt Niven) of Spokane and Melissa Rogers (Jason) of Poulsbo; grandchildren Samuel, Fair and Therisa Niven of Spokane and Hayden and Bryce Rogers of Poulsbo; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and family members. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Jim and Jack Shepherd.

A celebration of life is planned for early summer in Astoria.