Cover photo for Loyd Charles Stanley's Obituary
Loyd Charles Stanley Profile Photo

Loyd Charles Stanley

September 25, 1939 — October 4, 2023

Little Rock, AR

Loyd Charles Stanley

Following a valiant six-year battle with metastatic cancer, Loyd Charles Stanley, a man of wit and wisdom, died Wednesday, October 4th with his loving wife, Kaye, at his side. Loyd’s life was guided by a mantra he held dear: “never criticize, condemn or complain.” He never did.

Loyd and Kaye enjoyed a marital journey spanning 27 years, though if you asked Loyd he would joke and say that they had been married 67 years – cumulatively. In addition to his beloved Kaye, Loyd’s legacy will be carried on by his daughters Caroline Stanley (Dennis Nakasone) and Laura Stanley (Dr. Joel Mroczkowski).  He also cherished his stepchildren Todd King and Michelle Peebles (Damon), and was the proud grandparent of Gabriel King, Mira and Daniel Nakasone, and Kaden and Breanna Peebles. His former wife, Sue Owens, will also continue to tell tall tales of his many adventures. Saving his place on the couch in the next life to watch FOX News, are his son Stephen and grandson Andrew.

Loyd grew up in the bustling metropolis of North Little Rock, the only child of Sally (Loyd) and Charles Stanley and greatly enjoyed the doting of his aunts and uncles. He was active in the church his parents helped start, Park Hill Baptist Church, was DeMolay State Grand Master Councilor, a Boy Scout (two badges shy of Eagle Scout), the high school photographer (with a home darkroom where he could “alter” photos), and he always had a project going with his dad in their workshop.

Loyd started his college career at Arkansas State Teachers College (UCA) on a photography scholarship and would have done well if he had actually attended class instead of taking so many pictures.  He did make good spending money though by snapping shots at fraternity and sorority dances. “Even if the couple broke-up after the dance, the girls would still pay the $1.00 for the picture.” The next year he high tailed it to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he learned to play a great game of bridge – a game where strategy and finesse meet.

In 1959, Loyd joined the family business (Stanley Jewelers Gemologist), became the sole owner when his parents died and ran it along with the help of his daughters until its closing in 2017. In 1968, Loyd became a Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America and a Certified Gemologist of the American Gem Society. He was the first graduate gemologist in central Arkansas, and in 1985 he became a Certified Gemologist Appraiser.  Loyd also assisted De Beers and the Retail Jewelers of America in the development of a “Diamond Sales” training course. He was President of the Arkansas Retail Jewelers in 1973, was voted Boss of the Year in 1975 by the American Business Women, and listed in Who’s Who in the Jewelry Industry in 1980. He was also a Director of the American Gem Society 1981-85, Arkansas Jeweler of the Year in 1985, President of the Southwest Guild of the American Gem Society in 1986, and a guest lecturer in retail management and diamond appraising. He went on to develop and market the Identi-Jewel and Identi-Gem camera that was used throughout the industry. In 2008, the Arkansas Jewelers Association awarded him the prestigious and seldom given Lifetime Achievement Award. Loyd wrote and recorded his own radio advertisements, and his distinctive voice tagged many of them with “We know diamonds.” Indeed he did.

But Loyd wasn’t just about shiny rocks. He served for six years in the Arkansas Air Force National Guard as a staff sergeant and was a Vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church. He was active in the NLR Chamber of Commerce, NLR Boys Club, NLR YMCA, Little Rock Ski Club, Past President of the Pulaski County Humane Society and NLR Downtown, Chairman of the Better Business Bureau, and founding organizer and director of the National Bank of Arkansas. Loyd was nationally recognized in 1966 by the Jaycees as an Outstanding Young Man in American, and served the NLR chapter as President that year in an election the “other guy” was earmarked to win. Loyd won by one vote (he recruited one new member that year).  Loyd was a NLR Rotarian since 1971, a Paul Harris Fellow many times over, and lived the “four way test.” In 1972, he helped establish the Little Rock Executive Association, founded by a group of like-minded businessmen on the principle of reciprocity. He was a member for 51 years serving in various roles, including President, and was honored in 1983 as the inaugural recipient of the Gene Smith Award – a prestigious accolade for embodying the highest qualities of personal integrity in business leadership.

Loyd was an adventurous guy. As a young adult, he organized and participated in timed sports car rallies over great terrains such as Mt. Nebo. At one point, he wanted to learn how to sail, so he bought a book and built a Y-Flyer in his garage. His maiden voyage was with Max Melburger  (a man thought to be an accomplished sailor) who was later discovered to never have sailed before either. Later on Loyd ventured into cabin cruisers, and he and Kaye spent countless weekends cruising Lake Ouachita and Greers Ferry Lake, making boatloads of friends along the way. Loyd was also a licensed private pilot and owned several small aircraft. There’s a great story about his adventure with a sky scooter and how his long legs almost led to disaster.  Land, sea and air – he covered it all.

As a handsome, elegant, mature, single man, Loyd had a great “little black book” which probably could have been sold for a great deal of money if it had not mysteriously disappeared. (Was that right after he met Kaye?) Male friends in the dating world often called him to check references.

Before retiring, Loyd and Kaye took up golf and bridge and spent many fun hours at the Little Rock Duplicate Bridge Club. They traveled (and outlet shopped) extensively throughout Europe and the US during their 29 years together, but their greatest passion was snow skiing. Loyd led the Stanley Ski School (Team) which included 8 to 12 friends who shared his enthusiasm for the slopes. These friends met weekly for lunch for a remarkable 43 years, embarked on 35 ski trips and 7 golf escapades. One of the highlights of Loyd’s ski career was spending several days in 1982 skiing with Jean-Claude Killy. Having skied over 57 mountains, Loyd skied his last run in 2022 at Lake Tahoe. He was 82 and still gliding majestically and effortlessly down the slopes.

Statuesque, humble, loyal, regal, funny, generous, honest, passionate, intelligent, warm, principled, friendly, courteous, kind, noble, loving, shy, creative, dignified, polite, soft spoken, embracing, a leader, suave, determined, classy, trustworthy, adventurous, honorable, wise, and a true gentleman. Even all these words together cannot quite capture the essence of this truly “gentle soul.”

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to DeMolay International, NLR Boys and Girls Club, or The Little Rock Bridge House.

Please join us for a toast to Loyd at Chenal Country Club on October 17th from 5 – 7:30.  Memorial service will be Wednesday, October 18th at Park Hill Baptist Church at 11 am – “lunch bunch” time. If you choose to dress for success, please wear a red tie in his honor. Salute.

 

 

 

 

Cremation Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.--

 

 

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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

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