John William Shapard Sr.
November 15, 1948 – July 17, 2019
John William Shapard Sr. (“Bill”), age 70, of Oklahoma City passed away Wednesday morning the same way that he spent his entire life — surrounded by those he loved and those that loved him more than anything, regaling stories filled with fond memories of love and laughter. Bill was a devoted husband, a loving father, a doting grandfather, and a loyal fan of all his kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, he was still determined to be there as much as he could to watch Phoebe play tennis, Wil play football, Gracie swim, Tripp play baseball, and Eve play softball.
Although he was not a man of letters, he achieved his professional success from adhering to his life-long motto of “it seems like the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Bill worked closely with his brothers and family friends in building a restaurant business that spanned nearly 50 years, including Pioneer Pies Restaurant and Bakery, The Lion’s Share Restaurant, The Brittany, Calhoun’s and Dandelion’s. Managing at one time more than 15 restaurants in five states, Bill gave tens of thousands of people their professional start in life, for many their first job. Bill considered himself fortunate to have worked alongside dozens of some of the best restaurateurs in the business at the Oklahoma Restaurant Association -- serving a year as its chairman -- working to protect the industry that he loved.
As it is with most, it wasn’t easy. A man’s true character is exposed when it’s put under extreme pressures from the worst of times and Bill had his share, if not more than most. His personal and near 50-year professional success is a testament to how he fearlessly and courageously faced the steep challenges in his life head-on and defeated them.
To Bill, life was a grand experience not to be missed and he didn’t skirt from pursuing it for himself or helping others achieve it as well, even if it meant bending a few of the rules.
Those that knew him best can all recall a story of how he had taken an interest in them, worked or spent time together and, in the end, had a great story later to tell. A few could even tell you how he saved their life.
He was a loving and loyal husband, father, brother, grandfather and son. And, leaves a legacy of children and grandchildren that will continue his love of life, family, and hard work. In the end, he provided a great life for his family, which was the most important to him.
Bill was the third and last son of the late Mr. and Mrs. David Conger Shapard. He is preceded in death by his two brothers, David C. Shapard Jr. and Edwin Jennings Shapard.
He is survived by his wife, best friend, business partner and love of his life, Veda, with whom he shared 53 years of his 70 on this earth. They were inseparable since the first time they met and married at the age of 17. She never left his side, even in the deepest of valleys, and he never left hers. In the end, they made a beautiful life together.
He is also survived by his son Bill Jr., daughter-in-law Kimberley, and his daughter Jessica and son-in-law Dixon Thuston; as well as six grandchildren: Phoebe Shapard, John William Shapard III, Gracie Shapard, Robert Dixon Thuston III, Eve Thuston, and William Thuston.
Pallbearers will be Jay Pool, David C. Shapard III, Bill Shapard Jr., Dustin Shapard, Dixon Thuston, and Wil Shapard III.
If he was here now, he’d tell those that knew him not to mourn his passing. He lived a helluva life.
- Celebration of Life Monday, July 22, 2019