Stanley Reed champion for rural Arkansas and farm families, Dies in Auto Accident

Stanley Reed, a board member of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Simmons National Bank, the Arkansas World Trade Center Board of Advisors and the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, a farmer, businessman and politician and University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, died Friday in a single-vehicle traffic crash. He was 59.

A state police report says former University of Arkansas trustees chairman Stanley Reed died after his Cadillac Escalade veered off U.S. Highway 64 a mile east of Augusta and struck a tree.

Police were called just before 10 a.m. Friday with a report of a car that crashed along the highway.

The report says Reed, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was eastbound on the highway and left the highway on the right side of the road. The weather was clear and the road was dry when the trooper arrived.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said earlier Friday that it was unclear what time the crash occurred.

 Praise came forth from many Arkansans:
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee praised Reed as someone who had a “heart of service” for the state.
“He was a great guy to be around, whether in a duck blind or a board room, and he will be greatly missed,” Huckabee said in a statement released by his political action committee.

Gov. Mike Beebe said he was shocked by Reed’s death and called him a “staunch advocate” for the state’s farmers. “He was known for his dedication and commitment, and his voice will be missed,” Beebe said.

Senator Mark Pryor, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Charlene and the Reed family today. Stanley Reed was a longtime champion for rural Arkansas and farm families in our state. He was a strong family man and was devout in his faith. He will be sorely missed.”

Senator John Boozman, “The state of Arkansas lost a true friend and champion,” Boozman said. “Stanley’s friendship has meant a great deal to me over the years and his wisdom and example has had tremendous influence on so many.”

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Stanley’s passing.  Through his leadership, he showed his deep commitment to our state.   His contributions to education, business and agriculture leave a legacy that will not be forgotten.  My thoughts and prayers are with Charlene and their three children.”

“He just loved the university of Arkansas system and everything about it,” said B. Alan Sugg, the outgoing president of U.of A.. “I just can’t say enough things about him. He was one of the most outstanding human beings I’ve ever known.”

“The state of Arkansas has lost a true leader, and the Farm Bureau family has lost a gracious man,” said Randy Veach, the bureau’s president. “Stanley Reed stood for everything that is good and just about this organization. He was a man of integrity, compassion and faith.”

Reed is survived by his wife, Charlene, three children and three grandchildren.

Reed’s body was taken to Rhodes and Son Funeral Home in Augusta.