Roy Elston Bishop, 83, former mayor of Bryant, passed away Friday, July 8, at Saline Memorial Hospice House in Bryant. Mr. Bishop was born in Arkadelphia April 28, 1928. He was a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Bryant. He 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 a staff sergeant in the U.S. 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 ’60s. 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, and president of the Bryant Chamber of Commerce where he was specified Member of the Year four times and presented an 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 also was 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 Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at Ashby’s Funeral Home Wednesday at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Jimmy Hefner officiating. A Masonic burial will follow at Pine Crest Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Bob Wingfield, Phil Wingfield, 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.