UTA Magazine
In memoriam: John Douglas Shapter Jr.

magazine issue featuring John ShapterJohn Douglas Shapter Jr., who was profiled in a 2004 UTA Magazine cover story, died Aug. 30 in Fort Worth after a long battle with kidney, lung and heart diseases. He was 48.

Mr. Shapter fulfilled a lifelong dream in December when he graduated from UTA with a bachelor of fine arts degree. His illnesses, which included primary amyloidosis and bronchiectasis, forced him to take his final 14 hours from home.

Born in Detroit, Mich., he moved with his family to Fort Worth as a child and graduated from Paschal High School in 1974. He was an active member of Broadway Baptist Church and the local amyloidosis support group and was an accomplished guitar player and avid golfer.

At UTA, he focused his studies on graphic design but also dabbled in photography. A video he made about school violence won a national Illumina Gold award in 2002.

Mr. Shapter received a Mary I. Gourley Foundation scholarship, which goes to high-achieving single parents. He earned the respect of his professors for his strong desire to learn despite frequent, sometimes lengthy hospital stays.

"I can see his face and the great, beaming smile he'd get when studying the material," said College of Liberal Arts Dean Beth Wright, who taught him in three classes. "He found it just like opening up a candy store. He wanted to make his time count."

Survivors include two daughters, his father, two brothers and two sisters.

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