Date of death: 12/21/2019

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1957

The Rev. Raymond C. Sheperd, a priest who served parishes across the Diocese of Toledo and continued preaching in retirement until his last day, died Saturday, December 21, 2019 at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center. He was 87.

The family did not release the cause of death.

His last assignments at the Diocese were vicar for priests and vicar for deacons, from 1989 to 2000 and from 1992 to 2000 respectively.

Often called “Father Ray,” the 1949 graduate of Central Catholic High School was previously the pastor of Saint Wendelin Parish, Fostoria, from 1979 to 1989; and Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, Toledo, from 1972 to 1979.

Before that, he was an associate pastor at different times at Saint Joseph Parish in Fremont, Saint Clement Parish in Toledo, and Saint Rose Parish in Perrysburg.

“A man of many interests, he understood human nature and therefore was able to listen and be compassionate,” said Msgr. Marvin Borger of the Toledo Diocese.

After being granted senior status, or retirement, in 2000, Father Sheperd stayed active by helping local parishes and at Queen of Peace Chapel at Lourdes University until the day he died.

Father Sheperd was born Jan. 14, 1932 in Toledo to Ethel and Grover Sheperd.

After graduating in 1949 from Central Catholic High School, he continued his education at Saint Meinrad Seminary, Ind., and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Cincinnati, and was ordained in 1957. Early assignments were at Saint Joseph Parish in Blakeslee, Ohio, and at Sacred Heart Parish in Montpelier, Ohio.

He also studied at Xavier University, Cincinnati; Laval University in Quebec City, and the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1971 with a master of arts degree.

In his free time, Father Sheperd enjoyed spending time at his cottage, singing in the choir, playing cards, boating, and fishing. He also enjoyed reading Shakespeare and attending Toledo Symphony concerts.

He was preceded in death by three siblings.

There are no immediate survivors.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, both at Saint Ignatius Church, 212 North Stadium Road, Oregon, where the funeral Mass will immediately follow the Monday visitation.

Tributes are suggested to the Priest Retirement Fund and the Seminarian Fund, both of the Diocese of Toledo; or Saint Ignatius Church, Oregon.

This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at or 419-724-6089.

Published in The Blade on Dec. 26, 2019