By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
Walter Shepard claims he will retire, after decades as a student, coach and teacher at All Saints School. However, he acknowledges he will continue to be part of the school and the All Saints Catholic Church parish in some way.
He is basically retired now, but teaches when needed, said Danielle Wallace a Laurelhurst resident who said the community loves to have him around.
Shepard, known as Wally or Mr. Shepard, was born in 1938 and grew up on Northeast Royal Court in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, not far from the school at 601 N.E. Caesar Chavez Blvd. His brother, John, and sister, Helen, also attended All Saints School.
He was a good student who enjoyed history and also played football, basketball, softball and ran track for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). He went on to Central Catholic High School where he played football and was manager for the basketball team. He also began coaching at All Saints as a high school student. He attended Gonzaga University, but after realizing he wanted to teach, he transferred to the University of Portland to enter UP’s education program. He graduated in 1963 and began teaching at All Saints while earning a masters degree in education from Lewis & Clark College. He taught health and physical education and also was athletic director and coach.
Throughout his career, Shepard lived in his family’s Royal Court home, not far from All Saints. In his 50s, his mother was sick at Providence Portland Hospital, where he visited her and reconnected with Mary Munch, a nurse whom he had met many years before. They eventually married after his mother’s death. In recent years, he has been traveling more and playing golf, but he still finds his way to his desk on the school’s third floor, Wallace said.
“He has had a profound impact on everyone who has worked with him, or been taught or coached by him, or who has worshipped with him,” Wallace said. “He is a spiritual man, a dedicated man and some have even said a ‘saintly’ man.”