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Richard "Shep" Sczepankowski Sr.

Saturday, June 21, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM

Richard "Shep" Sczepankowski Sr.

June 20, 2014

Richard "Shep" Sczepankowski Sr., 61, of Amsterdam, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday Morning June 20, 2014 with his loving family by his side after fighting a courageous three year battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Shep was born March 7, 1953 to George and Martha Dybas Sczepankowski and was raised in Amsterdam and attended Amsterdam schools. Shep worked at Coleco for many years as well as Schott's Tavern. He was most recently employed by the Painter's District Council #9 of Albany, NY.

Richard had three great loves in his life, his wife Charlene (Mangam) who he was united in marriage to on August 18, 1995 and his children and grandchildren.

Shep belonged to a variety of Pool and Dart Leagues in Amsterdam. Shep was a phenomenal pool player. He also enjoyed bowling and a good poker game. Of all these things, Shep enjoyed being a very giving soul to many people. In the spirit of giving throughout the years he played Santa Claus and could be seen in his Santa suit putting smiles on the faces of many un-expecting children. He has been known by many children who are not biologically connected as Dad and Papason.

Richard is known for his kindness and generosity. One of his greatest gifts was making someone laugh or smile. He also had a great love for his yellow Lab, Petal, who at one time literally saved Shep's life. It was with great sadness that two of his beloved Pets passed away in May, just thirteen days apart from each other.

Shep is survived by his wife of nineteen years, Char Sczepankowski. They had spent 21 years of their lives together and have a bond that could not be broken even in their toughest times. He is also survived by his sons; Richard Sczepankowski Jr. of Amsterdam, Shane Sczepankiwski and his wife Katie of Staunton, VA. He also is survived by his daughter Amanda Leigh Avery and her fiance Chrissy Connery. His son- in-law, Eric McClary also survives as well as his four grandchildren, Connor, Arial, Melodie and Duncan McClary. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Richard is survived by his sisters and brother; Carol (Dave) Langelier, George Ann McGuiness, and Gary Sheppie, as well as his favorite sister-in-law, Mary Ellen (Bill) O'Loughlin. Shep also is survived by several nieces and nephews and his special friend John "Indian" Kalinsky of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Many other close friends and people special to Shep also survive. He has two remaining dogs Kletus, who guarded him day and night and the newest family addition, Itty Bitty Bean.

He was predeceased by his parents George and Martha and his daughter, Christina Sczepankowski McClary who passed away August 19, 2011. Shep was also predeceased by his brother Tom Sheppie of Florida, and his nephew Terry Sheppie of Amsterdam, and niece Kelly Spencer.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday June 24, 2014 beginning at 5:00P.M. at the Crossroads Community Church, 24 Division St. Amsterdam, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Church at 7:00P.M. with Rev. Scott Baldwin presiding.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Community Church Soup Kitchen, Division St., Amsterdam, NY 12010 or to Community Hospice, 246 Mannys Corners Rd., Amsterdam, NY 12010.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Betz, Rossi and Bellinger Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave, Amsterdam.

Please sign the family guestbook at


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