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William "Bill" Shepherd '61 July 29, 2020 2:18 PM updated: July 29, 2020 3:19 PM

William L. Shepherd
August 25, 1939-July 27, 2020

William “Bill” Shepherd passed away at the age of 80 on July 27, 2020 in Montgomery, Texas. Bill was born on August 25, 1939 to Ruth Ivy Shepherd and Guilford Cunningham Shepherd. He was raised in Silsbee, Texas with his older sister Janis Ruth, and younger sisters Bobby Jo, Sarah Ann (1953-1956) and Mary Elizabeth (1958-2018).

A proud Aggie, and active alum, Bill graduated from Texas A&M University in 1961 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After college, he served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany and spent his free time roaming Europe.

On his return to the U.S., Bill worked at the Johnson Space Center where he was part of a team that developed equipment used in the Apollo moon mission. He then worked for many years at Baker Hughes where he designed and tested products for oil and gas drilling. In the 1990s, Bill started his own company, WLS Drilling Products, designing and manufacturing his own line of rotary drill bits in partnership with JSC Volgaburmash in Samara, Russia. He holds multiple patents in the industry.

Bill is survived by his wife of 30 years, Barbara Ahrling Shepherd; his daughter, Marlene Shepherd and daughter-in-law Rachel Martinez; his grandson William Hansen Shepherd and step-grandchildren Mateo and Harper; sisters Janis Wood and Bobby Jo Clawson, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Barbara and family will hold a celebration of Bill’s life later in the year at their ranch in Richards, Texas.

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