The late Mrs Shepherd, of Stamford Bridge near York, left enough money in her legacy to entirely fund a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat for Filey' s RNLI station.
The new vessel, which arrived last week, has now been named in honour of the crew's late supporter, who also left gifts to other charitable causes in her will.
The RNLI have not disclosed the full amount donated by Mrs Shepherd, who had a holiday home in Filey. She and her husband, a jeweller who ran a shop on The Shambles in York, are both commemorated by benches in Glen Gardens in Filey.
The couple had no children, but her two nephews will be invited by the RNLI to attend the lifeboat's naming ceremony in October.
The new craft replaces the slower Mersey class boat which left Filey in April, having served the town since 1991.
Atlantic 85s are known for their speed and are ideally suited to Filey, where most call-outs are within 30 miles of the shore.
However, its arrival does mean some operational changes. It cannot launch in certain extreme weather conditions, meaning the RNLI stations at Scarborough and Bridlington will be tasked with some rescues near Filey that require a larger vessel to attend. The age limit for crew members is 55, meaning some older volunteers will have to retire and take on shore-based duties instead.
The choice of vessel for Filey also reflects the change in the nature of incidents in the area, which now mainly involve leisure craft rather than fishing trawlers.
A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “The RNLI’s aim is to reach at least 90 per cent of all casualties within 10 nautical miles of the coast within 30 minutes of launch, in all weathers.
“For that we need a network of 25-knot all-weather lifeboats and 35-knot inshore lifeboats at strategic points along the coast. The Atlantic 85 is quicker to launch than any all-weather lifeboat, has a maximum speed of 35 knots - much faster than even the Shannon at 25 knots - and is more manoeuvrable. It can also carry more than 20 casualties to shore at a time.”
Lifeboats have operated from Filey since 1804.
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