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Sep 11, 2017

Remembering Hugh Shepley FAIA

Hugh Shepley remembering

Image couresty of Elsa Dorfman, ArchitectureBoston: Generations.

SHEPLEY, Hugh Hugh Shepley, formerly of Manchester, Massachusetts, died peacefully at Carleton Willard Village in Bedford September 4 at age 89. A well-known architect in the Boston area, Hugh was a partner in the firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott. The firm was founded by his great grandfather, Henry Hobson Richardson and subsequently led by his grandfather George Foster Shepley and his father Henry Richardson Shepley. Hugh grew up in Brookline and Essex. He graduated from Brooks School, served in the US Army and graduated from Harvard (Class of 1951).

Hugh worked during the day and attended the Boston Architectural College for four years at night, followed by a year at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. He married Mary Waters Niles of Baltimore in 1950. Son of the late Henry Richardson Shepley and Anna Lowell (Gardiner) Shepley, Hugh was predeceased by brothers H. Richardson Shepley, Robert Gardiner Shepley, and Hayden Richardson Shepley as well as sister Anne Shepley. Hugh is survived by two sons: Hamilton Niles Shepley (Tony, married to Lorraine Sivco Shepley and their sons Niles and Cole) of West Hyannisport and Philip Foster Shepley (Pip, married to Martha Wakefield) of Belmont.

A leader in the Boston architectural community, Hugh served in many roles. He was President of the Boston Architectural College, President of the Boston Society of Architects, President of the Massachusetts State Association of Architects, and Chairman of the Rotch Traveling Scholarship. He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and received an honorary PhD from the Boston Architectural College. His community service included serving as a Director on the Boards of: the Greater Boston Red Cross, the Community Music Center of Boston, the Boston Center for Blind Children, the New England Conservatory of Music, the American College of Greece, the Manchester Historical Society. Hugh was Chairman of the Board of the Boston Medical Center and a member of the Conservation Commission of the Town of Manchester. At Harvard he was a member of the Delphic Club and the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770.

Later he was an active contributor to the Tavern Club, the Marshall Street Historical Society, the Alteburger Ski Club, the Essex County Club, and he was Commodore of the Manchester Yacht Club, as well as Skipper of the India Wharf Rats. In his early years he amazed many by his expertise in magic, acrobatics, and juggling. An avid sailor, he and his wife cruised the Maine coastline extensively. Musical endeavors included piano, banjo and trumpet, and Hugh was known up and down the coast for playing taps on his battered "boat" trumpet from the stern of his boat, ending exactly at sunset so that the sun could go to bed.

He never took himself too seriously, and he dared to be different. Despite many years of health issues, he kept his positive outlook and remained an exceptionally good sport. A Memorial Service will be at St. John's Church, 705 Hale St., Beverly Farms, MA 01915 on Friday, September 22 at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Boston Architectural College, 320 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115. Campbell Funeral Home 978-922-1113 Information, directions, condolences at

Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 10, 2017
Obituary article can be found at