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Dr. James, of La Belle, Florida, better known as Lee or
“Doc”, passed away on Sunday, October 8th, 2023, with his children by his side.
Lee was the son of the late James and Laura Alma Latta Shewmaker
of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and was born on October 30, 1942. He grew up on a farm, which instilled in him a lifelong love for animals and riding horses.
Lee graduated from Mercer County High School, in Harrodsburg, and received his bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky. He continued his education at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine , from which he received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
After College Lee enlisted into the U.S. Army and served two years providing Veterinary services at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He then moved to LaBelle, Florida purchasing his Veterinary practice in 1972. First named Glades Vet Services then later changed to Shewmaker Animal Hospital. He practiced in La Belle, FL for 50 years, providing Veterinary care for all the surrounding counties, including Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, Lee, and Collier counties. He mentored many young aspiring Veterinarians, including two of his children. He enjoyed serving his community and his work ethic was unparalleled.
Lee loved a good joke and cutting up with his fellow cowboy buddies. Lee’s hobbies were watching his grandchildren grow-up and compete in sports and rodeo. Lee really enjoyed Team Roping and for years hosted practices and Round Robins in the arena at his clinic.
He was a member of various veterinary associations but was also active for years in local associations such as Hendry County Cattlemen’s. In addition, he hosted the very first meeting for LaBelle Family Livestock Club at his clinic and was one of the first board members to help provide a family-oriented association for the sport of rodeo in our small hometown of Labelle over 30 years ago.
He was predeceased by his parents, his younger brother, John Thomas Shewmaker, and the mother of his children, Lila Shewmaker-Rae.
He is survived by his children, James Gordon Shewmaker, Dr. Bridgette Diane Shewmaker- Cochran DVM (Husband - Kenny), and Dr. James Lee Shewmaker III DVM; grandchildren: Cutter James Cochran, Brilee Blake Cochran, and James Lee Shewmaker IV; additionally, he is survived by his sister, Jane Latta Shewmaker; brother, of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky; and five nephews and nieces.
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11:25-26 NKJV
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle. Celebration of Life at Arching Oaks Ranch in LaBelle, FL at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, November 11th, 2023.