Joan Berckman Shephard, 83, of Madison Heights, died on Monday, April 8, 2019. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 43 years, William Pendleton "Penny" Shephard. Mrs. Shephard was born on July 23, 1935, in Guilford County, N.C., a daughter of the late James Hester Berckman and Othalia Bozeman Berckman. She was preceded in death by a brother, Van S. Berckman; and a sister, Gypsie Berckman. She was a graduate of Bessemer High School in Greensboro, N.C., where she was a member of the Glee Club. She worked in the office of J.P. Stevens for 16 1/2 years, as well as helping her husband operate Shephard's Market in Big Island for many years. She last worked part time at Tharp Funeral Home. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Monroe. She is survived by two brothers, Edwin M. Berckman of Greensboro, N.C., and Douglas C. Berckman of Gastonia, N.C.; several close friends who were near and dear to Joan's heart, Mary Cumbie, Rick and Nita Valiente, Kim and Jim Bebeau and their son, Cooper, Carol Dennis and her daughter, Sasha Lewis, and Melissa and Carey Wrenn; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service will be conducted on Friday, April 12, 2019, at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Monroe, with the Reverends Glynn Coleman and Mickey Ryan officiating. The family will receive friends at the church immediately following the service. Memorial contributions may be sent to First Baptist Church, Monroe or Centra Hospice. Friends and family would like to thank the Hospice staff, volunteers and caregivers who helped Joan during her illness. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Madison Heights, is assisting the family. Condolences may be shared at

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