Raymond Lewis Shoptaw
of Little Rock, AR
January 6, 1940 - December 13, 2020
Raymond Lewis Shoptaw,
age 80, of Little Rock, Arkansas, went home to be with His Lord and
Savior on Sunday, December 13, 2020, at Baptist Health Center. He is
predeceased by his parents, Bessie Morton and Len Shoptaw, and his wife
of 48 years, Bette Elaine Townley Shoptaw.
Raymond attended Garland Elementary School, West Side Junior High
School, and graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1958. He
learned to love baseball as the bat boy for his dad's church's softball
team. He played baseball through American Legion and college and looked
forward each year to the reunion of the friends he played with at Lamar
Porter Field. He spent tireless hours in the backyard playing catch and
"pepper" with his son, Britt, as well as coaching youth sports
and American Legion. He played basketball at Little Rock Central and
credited his coach, Lawrence Mobley, with teaching him more than the
game of basketball.
When he was fourteen years old, his uncle introduced him to the sport of
duck hunting which he continued to enjoy but never on Sunday. He had a
passion and love for duck hunting with his uncle Jimmy Morton and good
friend John Owens. They always kept secret their beloved "Honey
He graduated from Henderson State College and began his career in the
management training program with JCPenney. He served as Assistant
Director of The Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind and Assistant Director
for the Division of Rehabilitative Service at the Benton State Hospital.
He spent twenty-eight years with Arkansas Enterprises for the
Developmentally Disabled (AEDD) where he used his talents to grow the
small nonprofit that served about fifty adults with developmental
disabilities into a statewide organization providing diverse services to
well over five hundred children and adults with developmental
disabilities. He retired in 2009 as CEO. He approached his work at AEDD
with the mindset of "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it
unto me." Matthew 25:40.
He was a member of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church where he served as
a deacon. He was devoted to God's Word and included a Scripture in any
card he sent. He spent many Monday evenings with his good friend Larry
Mathews visiting members of their Sunday school department and seeking
to build the kingdom of God. He was a great Christian leader who was
devoted to instilling hard work, sound values, and the love of the Lord
as a father and poppa to his children and grandchildren. As a husband,
he was devoted to his late wife, Elaine, by giving great love and joy in
caring for her. The Lord graciously placed in his life for the past
eight years his wife, Peggy, as they continued to celebrate and love
life to its fullest together. Their happiest times were when they had
their families together enjoying special moments in life.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Mathews Shoptaw, daughter RaeLynn
Shoptaw Hogue (Scott) of Bentonville, Arkansas; son William Britt
Shoptaw (Tina) of Aledo, Texas; five granddaughters Kaitlyn Hogue of
Conway; Kelsey Hogue Knight (Jake) of Maumelle; and Sydney Shoptaw,
Sarah Shoptaw, and Sophie Shoptaw of Aledo, Texas. He is survived by his
step-daughter, Kelly Mathews Eldridge (Bill) of Benton; step-grandsons
Matthew Eldridge (Rachel) of Sachse, Texas; and Nathan Eldridge of Waco,
Texas; his sister, Marilyn Witcher, of Jacksonville, AR; and brother,
James Shoptaw, of Little Rock.
Celebration of Life services will be at 11 a.m., Friday, December 18 at
Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. The family will receive friends
following the service.
Memorials may be made to Geyer Springs First Baptist Church or a charity
of your choice.
Geyer Springs First Baptist Church is complying with the Arkansas
Department of Health guidelines and limiting indoor funeral and
visitation attendance to 500 people at one time. All attendees must
provide and wear their own masks before entering.