Published 9:23 am Monday, November 8, 2021
All who knew Bobby Shepard will miss his warm, radiant smile, his laugh, and his rock-solid dependability. Born December 12, 1937, to Mildred and Melvin Shepard of Bleckley County, Georgia, Bobby was the first born of three children on the Shepard farm.
Bobby raised row crops and livestock with his father through his young years. The coveted 1947 Farmall Cub was his first tractor. He remained a farmer throughout his life. Bobby’s banking career began in 1965 at Cook Bank, in Cochran, Georgia. In 1972, he became Vice-President of Planters Bank, in Hawkinsville, Georgia. In 1986, Cordele Bank made Bobby its fifth president in its 60 years of community service. He led the bank’s new ownership and name change to Planters First Bank. Bobby made real estate and tree farming his focus after he retired from banking in 2011.
Bobby met the love of his life, Roslyn Carr, at a Future Farmers of America summer camp in Covington, Georgia. They courted and later married on September 21, 1957. Roslyn and Bobby welcomed their only child Pamela Robin, on November 23, 1958. Bobby fondly recalled family meals and weekly visits with Roslyn’s mother, “Mama,” and “Mr. Jimmy”, Roslyn’s father. “Mama” had the secret recipe of hand baked biscuits, fruit tarts and loving hugs. Bobby admired “Mr. Jimmy” as a hard worker and a model, devoted father.
Bobby’s love and pride was his family. His actions and joys were proof that he was engaged in living. His faith was his foundation. His grandson, Ian, was Bobby’s shining star.
Bobby graduated from Cochran High School, the University of Georgia, and Louisiana State University’s Banking School of the South. Banking was his profession for 50 years. Bobby began his career in banking as a teller who recorded daily hand written transaction ledgers. Throughout his career, Bobby admired, respected, and valued each of his customers and employees; he demonstrated his appreciation for them by returning their loyalty in kind. He inspired sound management and banking practices. For over three decades, he held positions of President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Planters First Bank as well as Chairman of a private bank holding company that held multiple mid-state banks.
An active community leader in many roles. Cordele was home for Bobby and Roslyn. Bobby served Cordele through the Rotary Club, the Board of Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, Sunday School Teacher and Deacon at First Baptist Church, Crisp Industrial Development Council, the Board of Crisp Regional Hospital, and as a Freemason of Cordelia Masonic Lodge #296. He was a mentor and committee leader with the GA Banker’s Association.
Bobby was preceded in death by his wife, Roslyn; his mother, Mildred Giddens Shepard, and his father, Melvin D. Shepard; his brother, Melvin (“Ronnie”) D Shepard, Jr.; and stepmother, Evelyn Self Shepard. Bobby leaves joyful memories with his daughter, Pam (David Addleton), Franklin North Carolina; his grandson, Ian Cope (Natalie Ott), Ft. Bliss, El Paso TX; his step-granddaughters, Adriana Addleton (Arie Van Willigen) and Alexandra Addleton, Atlanta GA; his sister Patricia (William E. Sapp) and stepsister Marcia (William Manning), Cochran GA; and many relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, 2021 in the chapel of Rainey Family Funeral Services. Burial will follow at Pulaski-Bleckley Memorial Gardens in Cochran, Georgia. Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services. An online register book is available at www.raineyfuneral.com