Peter J Shapter

December 2, 1944October 11, 2020

Retired Master Sergeant Peter “Pete” James Shapter USAF 75, of Conway reported roll his final duty station Sunday, October 11 with his beloved wife for 53 years Bettye by his side. Pete was born in New York City, NY to the late Retired US Army Major Peter and Catherine Shapter.

Together Pete and Bettye traveled all over the country and built a life and family. In addition to his wife he is survived by one daughter Blake Birdsong of North Little Rock, one son Matt (Amber) Shapter of Conway, Three granddaughters Delia Murry, Loral and Mallea Shapter and one grandson Axel Birdsong. Three sisters Joan Chiafulio of Maryland, Mary (Curt) Johnston of South Carolina, Anne Swisher of New Mexico. He also leaves behind a number of nieces, nephews, outlaws and friends.

The Air Force afforded him the opportunity to visit many places, often flying Bettye out to see the sites as well. He visited Guam, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, and Japan to name a few. Even working in the same building in Japan 30 years later.

He and Bettye traveled to almost every state in the United States. Often logging many, many hours behind the wheel.

Pete came from a family that loved games. All kinds. Card games, board games, ball games, he loved them all. His favorite game to play at family gatherings was cribbage. His banter at the card table will be quoted for years to come.

Pete loved life and never met a stranger. He could most often be found talking to someone about something as random as the pro sports team on their hat. He could and would talk to anyone about anything. He was dangerous like that. A trip to the store could be prolonged if he saw someone with an Air Force hat or shirt on. He was a people person.

After retiring from the Air Force, he became a Master Gardener, a member of the Conway Men’s Chorus, an avid Buck knife and coin collector. He would try to recruit people to the Master Gardeners and the Chorus. He would “pay” people that helped him do things by sliding them a Buck knife.

He loved his family and loved to tell anyone that would listen about his grandchildren. He loved to watch movies with them, give them horse back rides around the living room and feed them too much sugar like a good grandfather does.

The family would like to thank the staff at Stonebridge and his Kindred Hospice team especially Nurse Brandy. We are forever grateful for the love and care you have given him especially during the time we could not be there.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia may have taken his voice but his spirit will live on forever. Join us as in your favorite Hawaiian shirt as we celebrate his life Saturday, October 17th at the First Church of the Nazarene 1501 Scott St. Conway. Visitation at 10am funeral service to follow at 11. Funeral Arrangements by Griffin Leggett Conway Funeral Home. Live streaming starts at 11am please go to:

In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the Purple Circle Fund at UCA, Conway Men’s Chorus or the Faulkner County Master Gardeners.


  • Matt Shapter, Pallbearer
  • Lawrence Benson, Pallbearer
  • Ronnie McDougal, Pallbearer
  • Mike West, Pallbearer
  • Robbie Bean, Pallbearer
  • Steve Rutherford, Pallbearer


  • Visitation for family and friends

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020


  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020


Peter J Shapter

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patty Mills

October 23, 2020

Bettye, my heart breaks for you. We had so many fun times together. You were the perfect couple. You both enjoyed travel, family & having fun together with friends! I talked to Joanne. Even though I haven’t let you know I cherish the memories of you both! Love To You!!❤️

Lisa Lambert

October 18, 2020

I met Pete Shapter through the Master Gardener group. He said we were fellow Yankees as he told me he was from NJ, but I said that didn't count baciause I was from NY and NY and NJ did not like each other. We joked about that each time. I did not see him for a while after he could not longer be a member. He came to our last Christmas social and I was very happy to see him even thought he was different, he was still the same, smiling and good natured. I'm sad that he is no longer with us, but happy to remember him.

Tammy Benson

October 16, 2020

We loved our times with Pete and Bettye. Pete was always the life of the party. We traveled with him and he always knew the best places to go and some interesting shortcuts. He was a kind, good man that loved his family and his country loudly!! We send our love and prayers for the family

Gary Williamson

October 16, 2020

Pete was so much fun to work with and we had a lot of laughs. I enjoyed his friendship. My heartfelt sympathy to Bettye and family.

Sarah Thornton

October 16, 2020

Ralph and I met Pete and Betty in Sunday school at First Nazarene. Such friendly people they were a great addition to the class. Pete and Ralph enjoyed their sharing and story telling. Sorry for the loss of this good Christian man.
Ralph and Sarah Thornton

Bobby Courtway

October 16, 2020

I got to know Pete first through the Men's Chorus, we were both Baritones, and also as a fellow retired Air Force guy; gave me a buck knife after I retired from the Air Force. Wonderful guy, always smiling and never a bad word about anyone. Enjoyed talking to him after rehearsals and backstage before our concerts. He was a very fine man and will be missed.

Karen Rasmussen

October 16, 2020

Bettye, We loved Pete. Loved when you two came by to see us in
Colorado on your trip.
You are right, Pete didn't know a stranger--great guy. You are
so lucky to have shared your life with him. Of course, he was very
lucky to have you. You two were great together.
Rest in Peace sweet Pete.

Ric and Karen Rasmussen

Bryan Groff

October 15, 2020

Thank You Mr. Shapter for opening your house to my wife Jennifer and I for the couple Thanksgiving dinners we shared. As a young married couple being 14hrs away from our parents and family, your loving family welcomed us and you treated us like family! You acted like the Father figure we were missing at the time including some awesome “Dad” jokes! Thank you for the memories on the golf course as well and you will be missed by all!

Heather Stevenson

October 15, 2020

The last time I visited Uncle Pete last Fall, I didn't know what some southern term meant and he mumbled in my ear, 'Ya' dang Yankee', then laughed at himself.
I love you Uncle Pete. Thanks for loving me.
Your niece, Heather

Patricia Shapter

October 15, 2020

Peter stayed at my place in Gulf Breeze, FL while I was on a missions trip in Mexico City (he was planning on scuba diving). He arrived after I had left for my trip and he left before I returned home. But he left me a note and a wonderful gift. He let me know he had fluffed my comforter in the dryer and he had replaced all the washers in my faucets. He really put a smile on my face.


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