While Lloyd Stone will be remembered by many for the active role he played in Arkansas politics, some say it is work with his church and other religious organizations.
Stone, 58, died Thursday following a nearly yearlong battle with cancer. He was the national committeeman for the Republican Party of Arkansas and a former state GOP chairman, a Conway businessman, past president of the Gideons International and was currently serving as chairman of the International Extension Committee. He was also a member of Family Life Bible Church.
"I think the thing Lloyd will be most remembered for is his work with the Gideons organization," said former State Sen. Stanley Russ of Conway.
"He devoted a lot of time, energy and resources to the organization. That's the way he approached any endeavor, 100 percent," Russ said.
Russ added that while he knew Stone for about 20 years, he knew little of his private life because Stone was a somewhat private man in those respects.
Current state Sen. Gilbert Baker recalled Stone as being committed to his community.
"A lot of the time we just saw him wearing his political hat but he was also very active in the Gideons and their ministry," Baker said. "He lived a fast-paced life with several irons in the fire."
"I am saddened by his loss which is our loss," he added.
Baker also said "during the time (Stone) was very active here in politics was a time when I was inactive ... but he was very supportive of the resurgence of the Republican party."
Stone was elected state GOP chairman in December 1995, succeeding Asa Hutchinson, who resigned to run for the Legislature but ended up being elected to Congress.
During Stone's tenure, Arkansas elected its first Republican U.S. senator, Tim Hutchinson, Mike Huckabee became only the state's second Republican governor since Reconstruction, and the party's presence in the Legislature grew substantially.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Family Life Bible Church in Conway.
(Staff writer Samantha Huseas can be reached by phone at 505-1253 or e-mail at email@example.com.)
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)