Bradley Russell “Brad” Shepler, 70, of Harrisburg passed away Wednesday, March 24, 2021 of metastatic cancer at the Hershey Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. He had been having health problems for the last year or so, which included a six-week illness with the Covid 19 virus, from which he never really recovered.
Born January 8, 1951 in Harrisburg, he was a son of the late Russell R. and Pauline L. (Kovach) Shepler and also preceded in death by brothers Russell Shepler, Andrew Shepler and Donald Shepler, sister Mary Shepler Good and his faithful dog Bandit.
A 1968 graduate of Hershey High School, Brad attended Lebanon Valley College. Brad had formerly worked for the U. S. Postal Service in Hummelstown and until recently had been employed at Conewago Place rehab facility, as a patient monitor, distributing medications as well as counseling for those with substance abuse issues. While Brad had been employed at many different jobs over the years, such as an apprentice electrician for Local 143 in Harrisburg, truck driver for several companies, counselor for Gaudenzia and other facilities, drywall installer for his family's drywall business, and many other jobs, his true vocation for the past 40 years has been trying to carry the message of recovery from drugs and alcohol to those who needed it. In this capacity, he touched the lives of untold numbers of alcoholics and addicts throughout the Central Pennsylvania area and further and he did it by sharing his own story of what happened to him, what it used to be like, and what it's like now during which he stayed sober and clean. A big part of his life, since 1984, was as a founding member of the Phoenix Motorcycle Club. He was the last original member still active in the club. It would not be unusual to see Brad on his bike on some back road anywhere in Pennsylvania or the surrounding states, as often he would just point the front wheel and follow wherever it went. Or to go to a recovery meeting anywhere within a hundred miles of his house and see him there, trying to show the motorcyclist that still suffered that there was a better way. Trying to carry the message to those that society had discarded that they were not alone. That they, too, could recover from the scourge of addiction.
He also did his best to try to be a good Christian, as that was an especially important part of his life. Even though he often fell short of the mark, he would do his best to make amends to those he had wronged, as that was not only a part of his recovery, but a part of his religious experience as well.
While he tended to show a gruff, rough exterior, those who knew him best knew that that was a facade, and that a humble and self-effacing person was underneath. He was utterly amazed in his last days that so many people had reached out to his family wanting to see and talk with him in his last moments of life. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. He will live on forever in our memories and in our hearts.
Surviving are his loving sisters Paulette Shepler Finney and Jonell Shepler; nieces Shelli Finney Hellenthal (Cory), Jodi Finney (Thomas), Deborah Good Hocker (John) and Kimberly Good Deibler; and nephew Henry “Buddy” Good (Joanie); and sister-in-law Eleanore Shepler. Brad was loved by his grandnephews and niece Julian, Rowan and Quinn Phillips and Sophia and Brody Hellenthal.
The family would like to thank the nurses and the hospice floor at Hershey Medical Center for their loving care and attention to Brad and the entire family during Brad’s stay at the medical center.
A service will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
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