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Roy E Ledbetter

of Little Rock, AR, 1930 - 2022

ROY E LEDBETTER was born March 3, 1930, in Fordyce and died peacefully at home surrounded by his family November 19, 2022.
Roy attended Fordyce High School excelling in football and track. He attended Southern State College (now Southern Arkansas University) where he played football and ran track for Coach Elmer Smith. He was on the Muleriders AIC football championship teams of 1948 and 1951. On January 24, 1952, he married Wanda Nell Gunnels, and they were happily married for 66 years until her death in 2018. He graduated from Southern State in 1952 with a B.S. in Education.
After graduation, he joined the Navy, attended Officer Candidate Training School, and was an officer aboard a LST during the Korean Conflict. Roy was commanding officer for the Naval Reserves in Camden, retiring with the rank of Commander.
In 1954, Roy was hired at Camden High School by the late Sam Coleman to coach football and track. He also taught history, civics, and biology. He succeeded Coach Coleman as head coach in 1957 and coached Camden to three conference championships. He was a mentor to his players, particularly those facing the greatest challenges. During this time, he obtained his M. Ed. from Henderson State University.
In 1966, he joined Highland Industrial Park in East Camden where his first assignment was to coordinate the successful establishment of Southern Arkansas University, Technical Branch. He was promoted to Division Manager (1972), Vice President and Division Manager (1975), Senior Vice President (1980), and eventually President (1984). He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975. Under his leadership, Highland Industrial Park became the largest privately owned industrial park in the country. He retired from Highland in 2002 after 36 years with the company.
Roy was President of the Camden Area Chamber of Commerce, received the Chamber's first annual Community Service Award and was the 1977 Camden Jaycee's Man of the Year. He served as a board member for Southern Arkansas University, the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, and the State Board of Higher Education, along with various companies including Merchants and Planters Bank of Camden, First United Bancshares of El Dorado and First Commercial Bank of Little Rock. He was particularly proud to serve on the Arkansas Education Standards Committee in 1983.
He leaves behind his son Sam, grandson Jacob Gerhardt and great-grandchildren Jack and Christopher Gerhardt. He was preceded in death by his wife Wanda, daughter Lisa Jo Gerhardt, parents Charles Polk and May Sturgis Ledbetter, and brothers Charles, Harry, and Ted.
He and Wanda attended First United Methodist Church in Camden for over forty years. For many years he taught Sunday school and was a lay minister. He was proud to serve his church and community in a variety of ways.
Roy enjoyed woodworking, hunting and fishing. He was particularly fond of his Labrador retriever Maggie and grand-dog Ellie. He never met a stranger and was intensely interested in every person with whom he was able to strike up a conversation. When asked in an interview in 1986 what he would like to be remembered for, he responded, "A good husband, a good father, honest and hard working." He was all these things and more.
In his final years, he was cared for by Rosaline Mix, Janice Boykins, Nikita White, Margaret Chapple and Victoria Thomas. The family is grateful for their love and devotion to "Mr. Roy." Arrangements are under the direction of

Published November 22, 2022

Ruebel Funeral Home
6313 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-666-0123