Lloyd Reid George, 85, of Birta, Ark., died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, after an extended illness due to complications from multiple strokes.
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The only son of Percy V. George, a cattle rancher and postmaster, and Lula Maize George, a postal worker and homemaker, Lloyd was born Oct. 23, 1926, in his grandparents' house in Centerville.
Lloyd grew up in Ola, an outstanding athlete in all sports and helping his father and grandfather on the family farm. After graduating from Ola High School, he attended Hendrix College where he lettered in basketball and track. Upon graduation from Hendrix, he did post-graduate work at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, studying science, biology and physics.
Anyone who knew Lloyd as a young man would have no doubt the industrious small town boy with the gift of gab and a love of people would grow to accomplish a lot in his life. His passion for sports led him into a coaching and teaching career soon after college, with positions at Fourche Valley, Ola, Morrilton and Gillette. When the small teacher's salary was no longer enough to support Lloyd's growing family, he borrowed enough money from his father and grandmother to open a butane gas company in Danville, the place he would call home, raise his children and still participate in sports by playing on independent baseball and basketball teams throughout the 1950's.
Lloyd's political career began as Mayor of Danville. In 1962, at age 35, Lloyd won his first term in the Arkansas Legislature. He had found his passion in being the voice for the people of Yell County and he would hold this office for 28 years. While in the legislature he served as Chairman of the Legislative Council, Chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, House Speaker Pro Tempore, and Chairman of the Southwest Energy Council. But Lloyd's primary concern remained improving the lives of the people of Yell County and during his tenure, Lloyd helped to secure millions of dollars in water, sewer and street grants to every incorporated town in his area.
Lloyd was inducted into the Hall of Distinction at Arkansas Tech in 1995. He received the Arkansas Conservation Partnership Award in 1997 and received the Tri-Peaks Tourism Award in 2002. Lloyd also served on the Chambers Bank Board for over 30 years.
Lloyd considered his greatest accomplishment to be the Lodge on Mt. Magazine, where the West Wing of the new $35 million facility bears his name. Lloyd began work on funding for a new Lodge early in his legislative career and was responsible for getting the first paved road in 1968. After 42 years of tireless effort, ground was broken for the Lodge construction in 2004, with completion and a ribbon cutting ceremony in 2006.
Throughout his life, Lloyd would continue to maintain the family farm and raise cattle as his father had taught him to do on land that had been passed down for generations. In later years, Lloyd would retire to his beloved farm where he would spend the remainder of his days.
Lloyd is survived by his four children and their spouses: daughters, Betty George Woody and husband Dennis of Danville and Bonny George Dennis and husband Dave of Conway; and his sons, Nathan V. George and wife Jan of Dardanelle and Jasper Lloyd George and wife Arlene of Birta.
Lloyd's nine grandchildren are Georgia Alford Meredith, Cody Alford, Jon-Nathan George, Jason George, Janae George, Jasmine George McBride, Jacob George, Jordan George and Travis Talley. Lloyd also has four great-grandchildren.
Visitation with the George Family will be held on Tuesday evening, Feb. 28, from 5-7 p.m. at the Cornwell Funeral Home Chapel in Danville.
Because Lloyd's roots grow so deep in the soil of Yell County, his funeral service and internment will be on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m., outdoors in the pavilion at the Mt. George Cemetery in Mt. George, Ark., where generations of his ancestors have been laid to rest. Officiating the service will be Lloyd's cousins, the Rev. Chris George and Dr. L. Compton George.
Pallbearers will be Lloyd's grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Lloyd's childhood family church, the Ola United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 37, Ola, AR 72853, or the Mt. George Cemetery, 310 W. Main St., Russellville, AR 72801.
Arrangements by Cornwell Funeral Home Danville.
Online guestbook and condolences at www.cornwellfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Log Cabin Democrat from Feb. 27 to Mar. 5, 2012
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