Roy Elston Bishop, 83, former mayor of Bryant, passed away on Friday, July 8, 2011 at[more] Saline Memorial Hospice House in Bryant.
Mr. Bishop was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas on April 28, 1928. He was a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Bryant.
Mr. Bishop was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Ercel Bishop and Bessie Ruff Bishop, and a brother, James Neal Bishop. Survivors include his daughter, Roya Bishop Lloyd and her husband Jim; son Johnny Bishop, brother Wayne Bishop and his wife Melba; sisters Gene Jerry, and Margie Wingfield and her husband Albert; three grandchildren, Chelsea Bishop Ward and her husband Steve, and David and Colleen Lloyd; one great-grandchild, Addison Ward; his former wife, Venita Bishop; and many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Bishop graduated from Bryant High School and attended Little Rock Junior College. He served as Staff Sergeant in the Air Force and was stationed in London, England. Upon returning to the states, he was employed by Alcoa as a laboratory analyst for 11 years. During that time, he also owned and operated two drive-in cafes, Whopper Burgers 1 and 2 in Benton, which were popular hangouts during the 60’s. He later became an announcer at radio station KGKO in Benton, and a successful mobile home salesman.
In 1973, Mr. Bishop served on the city council in Bryant, and was elected mayor from 1975 to 1978 and again in 1989, serving three consecutive terms afterward for a total of 14 years. While mayor he was appointed to the Arkansas Municipal League Executive Committee, and later presented an honorary lifetime membership in the league. Roy loved his community and served it well. He was a Scimitar Shriner and a member of the Alumina Lodge, No. 574.
Other community activities include serving as president of the Saline County Riding Club, secretary/treasurer of the Saline County Fair Association, charter member and president of the Bryant Lions Club, Board member for the Lions World Services for the Blind, president of the Bryant Chamber of Commerce where he was specified Member of the Year four different times and presented and honorary lifetime membership. He was appointed by the governor to the State Board of Manufactured Housing, and served on the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District Board of Directors. He was also on the Board of Directors at Benton State/Regions Bank for 30 years.
His interests were many. He loved the outdoors and for a period of time showed quarter horses and Basset hounds. He enjoyed water skiing and golf, traveling, and talking with friends while working in the yard. He was full of life, interested in people, and giving of his time and energy to those in need. He will be deeply missed by family and friends.
Visitation will be held at Ashby’s Funeral Home on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at Ashby’s Funeral Home the following morning, Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Jimmy Hefner officiating. A Masonic burial will follow at Pine Crest Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Bub Bishop, Terry Jerry, Bart Singleton, Daniel Ashcraft, Trey Bishop, and Ben Jerry. The family wishes to thank the staffs of Fox Ridge, Saline Memorial Hospital, and the Hospice House in Bryant for the care of their loved one. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shiners’ Children’s Hospitals, Lions’ World Services for the Blind, or First Southern Baptist Church in Bryant.
Best mayor Bryant ever had….nobody else comes close! Been downhill ever since he left as mayor.
Roy was our good neighbor, good friend, good mayor, and a real gentleman. Although he couldn’t remember who we were when we would go visit him at Fox Ridge, he would always say in his gentlemanly way, "so good to see you and thank you for coming". He was a real gentleman to the end and we will miss him very much. Danny and Linda Steele