A 69-year-old Kings Mountain man died Monday morning after an accident at his welding business, according to authorities and his family.
Gerald Randall Sheppard had owned his business on Bethlehem Road for at least 35 years, his daughter Sharon White told the Observer. He had three adult children.
Sheppard had worked at another company prior to setting off on his own, White said.
He started his own business, decided thats what he wanted to do, she said. He started off building wood stoves. He designed it and welded it together and everything.
Sheppard Welding grew into a thriving welding business, White said, and her father worked six days a week on different projects and jobs for clients. He was a worker, she said. He built it from the ground up.
On Monday, she said Sheppard was in the shop working on a diesel tank for a customer when it blew up.
The only thing we have heard is that he was welding on a diesel tank, which hes done numerous times before, said White, who lives in Grover. And it just exploded.
Authorities were called at around 10:30 a.m. A friend of Whites son is a firefighter, and called to say that something had happened at Sheppard Welding. She rushed to the shop, where she was told her father had died.
White said shell remember her father as a handy man who could fix just about anything.
We used to say, if we had a problem, Call Daddy, hell fix it, she said.
Observer news partner WCNC-TV contributed.