Nfld. & Labrador

Elderly veteran heartbroken over stolen guitar gifted from late wife

People have heard about 82-year-old Edward Sheppard's missing guitar and are rallying to help.

Edward Sheppard's wife saved money for the instrument for over a year

Edward Sheppard, 82, wearing an Air Force uniform ahead of a Powwow in Flat Bay, where he received an Indigenous veterans award. (Submitted)

It's probably worth little to the person who stole it, but for 82-year-old Edward Sheppard his guitar means everything. 

Sheppard, who lives in Stephenville Crossing on the province's west coast, discovered the instrument was missing when he went to play it recently.

"He doesn't want to make a big deal out of it, but he is very sad because it means a lot to him," his daughter Yolanda Sheppard told CBC News.

"It was one of the last things my mom gave to him before she passed away from cancer."

Edward Sheppard's late wife Theresa saved up money to buy her husband his own guitar. It was one of the last thing she gave him before she died of cancer. (Submitted)

Yolanda Sheppard said her late mother saved for more than a year to buy the guitar — something the Royal Canadian Air Force veteran had wanted for years. 

Sheppard believes someone went inside the house when it was unlocked within the last two weeks.

"He uses his guitar all the time, it's a pastime for him, and I think it kind of makes he feel a little closer to my mom, so it's really sad."

Shortly after this story published online, comedian Mark Critch and musician Alan Doyle tweeted that they would find a replacement for Sheppard before Christmas.

Doyle offered up his own guitars that he used while playing in the band Great Big Sea.

Critch said he contacted Provincial Airlines, which offered to fly the guitar to Sheppard in Stephenville Crossing. 

"That is the most amazing gift I could imagine," Yolanda Sheppard said after hearing the news. 

Guitar has distinctive features

Sheppard believes that the person who stole the original guitar very likely knew who owned the house.

"Everyone in the community knows who my dad is, he's very gentle, he's very friendly, outgoing and everyone knows him," she said.

"Someone had to know they took the guitar from my dad."

People in the community have been keeping an eye out for a light-coloured acoustic guitar with distinctive red and white flowers on the pickguard.

The missing guitar, seen in this family photo, has some distinct features. (Submitted)

So far, no sightings have been made.

Everyone has been keeping their eyes open for the stolen musical instrument.

Edward Sheppard remains hopeful, however, that he will be reunited with it.


Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.


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