Arkansas Business' Spotlight 2013: Notable Deaths

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 12:00 am  

Doyle Rogers Sr., Alexa Dillard, Cal Ledbetter, Pat Summerall and Stephen LaFrance Sr. were among 18 business leaders and notable professionals who died in 2013.


Laura Newman, 55, a longtime journalist and public relations practitioner, died Jan. 25 following a seven-year battle with cancer. Newman worked for the Pine Bluff Commercial, the Arkansas Gazette, Alltel and Combs & Co., among other companies.

Rick Newton, 60, founder of Rick’s Pro Dive ‘N Ski Shop of North Little Rock, died Jan. 27 of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Newton’s store, established in 1978, is now known as Rick’s Dive ‘N Travel Center and celebrated its 35th anniversary this year.


Doyle Rogers Sr., 94, banker and real estate developer, died Feb. 4. Rogers owned Metropolitan National Bank and developed some of downtown Little Rock’s most recognizable modern landmarks, such as the hotel now known as the Marriott, the Statehouse Convention Center and the Stephens Inc. building.

Alexa Dillard, 96, widow of Dillard’s Inc. founder William T. Dillard and mother of top leaders in the Little Rock retail chain, died Feb. 19. She was mother of current CEO William Dillard II, President Alex Dillard, Executive Vice Presidents Drue Matheny and Mike Dillard and Vice President Denise Mahaffy.


Betty Lowe, 78, former medical director and long-time advocate of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, died March 5. Lowe is considered to have played a major role in making ACH one of the nation’s leading pediatric hospitals.

Layton “Scooter” Stuart, 62, former chairman and CEO of One Bank & Trust, died March 26. Chronically ill, Stuart died after being stripped of his positions at the bank following an audit order from its regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.


Pat Summerall, 82, former Arkansas Razorback football player and sports announcer, died April 16. Summerall called more Super Bowls than any announcer in the game’s history.



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