Raymond Lewis Shoptaw I am a Veteran.

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 Hole."

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.