Andrew "Andy" Shepard |

Andrew "Andy" Shepard

Former Exchange Bank chief and owner of Kremmling’s Elktrout Lodge Andrew “Andy” Shepard of Santa Rosa, Calif., died early Tuesday, 12 days after the banking industry leader, decorated World War II veteran and expert fly-fisherman took a bad fall in the midst of an implacable illness. He was at Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa when he died from complications of the injury.

Shepard fought for more than three years against a bone marrow disorder, myelo-dysplasia, in which the bone marrow fails to produce sufficient blood cells. It gradually sapped the former college football coach’s strength and vigor. He was 84.

The Stanford graduate started with Exchange Bank as a teller in 1949 and stayed on for 60 years. He led Sonoma County California’s largest private bank as president, board chairman and CEO through the growth years of 1969 to 1991.

Beyond his work at Exchange Bank, Shepard also was a state and national banking leader who guided and advocated for his industry through the rocky era of bank deregulation.

Shepard was born Aug. 12, 1924, in Chicago. He grew up in Omaha and in Pebble Beach, near Monterey.

He entered the army in 1943 at the height of World War II. His actions in battles in France, where many of his buddies were killed, brought him numerous combat honors, among them the Bronze Star.

Shepard returned to California in 1946 and enrolled at Stanford. During his undergraduate years he also worked as the football coach at Menlo College.

A passionate angler, Andy loved to spend his free time fishing.

In 1982, Shepard co-founded the Orvis-endorsed Elktrout fly-fishing lodge near Kremmling on the Colorado River. The 22-bed lodge has been featured on at least four national TV fishing shows and is world renowned for its fly-fishing and impeccable amenities.

His love of golf, combined with his financial expertise, led to his serving for years on the board of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

In addition to his wife Mardi in Santa Rosa, Shepard is survived by daughters Marcy Lyons of Greenbrae, and Susan Ball of Pasadena; stepdaughters Debbie Bird of Plano, Texas, and Trece O’Donnell of Littleton, Colo; four grandchildren; and five stepgrandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Jan. 24 at Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club. A reception will follow.

Shepard’s family suggests memorial donations to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Foundation, 1154 Montgomery Drive, Suite 1, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, or to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401-4395.

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