UPDATE: Area Man Who Jumped from Casino Roof Known for Restoring Old Theaters

Credit: Wheaton Grand Theater Facebook page
Credit: Wheaton Grand Theater Facebook page
A 70-year-old Wheaton man who died Monday after jumping from the parking garage of an Aurora casino is being remembered as a "visionary" who restored theatersthroughout the United States and most recently helped with the restoration of the Grand Theater in Wheaton, according to the Aurora Beacon News. 

Ray Shepardson, known for his work reviving old theaters, restored PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, which is the second-largest theater complex in the country, and spent 30 years revitalizing old theaters in Detroit; St. Louis; and Columbus, Ohio, according to the article. 

Wheaton Grand Theater preservationist supporters were mourning the loss of Shephardson. 

The Chicago Tribune reports Shephardson had been involved in restoring the 1925 theater for years and Rick Erickson, who worked with Shephardson on the project, said his architectural played a big role in the theater's revival. 

A marquee sign is expected to be hung at the theater in honor of Shephardson, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

The Wheaton Theater Facebook page posted the following message Tuesday: "I'm sorry to report that Ray Shepardson passed away yesterday. He was a theater genius and will be missed by many." 

The above information was updated at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A 70-year-old Wheaton man died Monday night after jumping from the fifth-floor of the Hollywood Casino parking garage, 43 E. Galena Boulevard in Aurora, police said.

Raymond Shepardson of the 300 block of Illinois Street reportedly jumped from the deck's top floor and landed on Galena Boulevard, according to the Beacon News.

No foul play is suspected in the incident, which happened at around 7:55 p.m. at the casino, police said. Shepardson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Martha Hanna April 17, 2014 at 09:20 AM
This is a sad story. I wonder if Ray played at the casino often. I used to be a dealer in the casino, very depressing job. The casino's make players their best friend and then when your money is gone they have no use for you. I hope the state grants 1 liscense to Chicago, at least a lot of the players will be tourists and it will not affect the local residents as much as the other casino's in Illinois.


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