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Lennell Shepherd, Sr. (Shep) was born on August 10, 1940 in Samson, Alabama to the late Jesse
and Lillian Shepherd. Shep, as he was known by family and friends, departed this life
on Sunday, September 22, 2019 at St Francis Hospital. Shep moved to Wilmington, DE with his
parents when he was just a toddler. He joined the Christina Community Center at the age of
twelve and became a star athlete in track and field. He finished first in all of his races and long
jumps. Shep competed against many track and field clubs in the State of Delaware and never lost
Shep, although he was small in stature,at the age of thirteen, started weight training and body
building to increase his strength and stamina. He was dedicated to his training to the point that he
won many weight lifting competitions. Shep later developed a love for martial arts and became
an eight degree Black Belt Master and was then known as Master Shep. His dedication to each of
the sports he was involved in resulted in his winning over three hundred trophies.
While attending Bancroft Middle School, Shep became the city, county, and state champion in
track, competing in the 100 and 200 yard dash and the long jump. He set many state records and
was then given the nick name “Mighty Mouse”. Pound for pound, due to his dedicated weight
training, Shep became the strongest man in his weight class for the USA, with the ability to lift
twice his own body weight. He was Mr Wilmington in 1959, and then became Mr Delaware in
1960. In 1998 he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum Hall of Fame. In 2007 he
received a First State Achievers Award, and was inducted into the Afro American Sports Hall of
Fame. He was a member of the All American weight lifting team in 1967, was the first Delaware
Afro American State Champion in 1962, becoming Delaware’s weight lifting champion for
twelve consecutive years.
Shep gave an exhibition with martial art greats, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris on ABC’s Oriental
World of self-defense in 1970.
In the mist of all his early accomplishment’s, at the age of eighteen he married Mary Bullock and
from that union five children were born. When that marriage failed, he met Shirley Dorsey and
from that relationship two sons were born. When they parted, he met and married Pauletteof
West Grove, PA and another son was born.
At age 22, Shep gained employment with General Motors in 1963 and retired after 30 years of
Service, in 1993 at the age of 52. For a short period Shep worked at West End Neighborhood
House in a supervisory position and was loved by the neighborhood kids. He also served as a
weight trainer for the adult members at the center.
Shep was preceded in death by his younger sister Rosilyn Joy, brother Timothy Shepeard, his
third wife MarilynWright-Shepherd sister-in-law Evelyn Shepeard, his son Lennell Shepherd Jr,
and his grandson Turran Shepherd.
Shep leaves to cherish his memories, wife Cheryl, his children: Linda Shepherd-Moore (Collin), Brenda Shepherd-Simpson (Louis),
Reverend Cindy Whalen ( James), Kenneth Shepherd (Delia), Lennell Lewis, Victor Dorsey and Ali Shepherd
(Ardale); five brothers: Bishop Roger Woodard ( Dr Donna), Jesse (Geraldine), Fred Elder Tyrone (Elder Kathleen), and Brain
(Charlotte), two sisters: Minister Patricia Sutherland (Johnnie), Minister Joy Shepeard; 16 grandchildren,16 great grandchildren, , sister-in-
law Mayella and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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