(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – Loyd Stanley died Wednesday, October 4th with his wife Kaye at his side, following a valiant six- year battle with metastatic cancer. Loyd’s life was guided by a mantra he held dear: “never criticize, condemn or complain.” He never did.
For more than 50 years at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist Inc., second-generation jeweler Loyd Stanley made his mark on the jewelry industry and his local community.
Loyd and wife Kaye were married for 27 years. Loyd is survived by daughters Caroline Stanley (Dennis Nakasone) and Laura Stanley (Dr. Joel Mroczkowski). His son Stephen Loyd Stanley is deceased. Caroline Stanley and Laura Stanley are well known figures in the jewelry industry. He also is survived by his stepchildren Todd King and Michelle Peebles (Damon), and several grandchildren.
In 1959, Loyd joined the family business (Stanley Jewelers Gemologist), becoming the sole owner when his parents died and ran it along with the help of his children 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 and in 2017 became an Emeritus CGA. 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, listed in Who’s Who in the Jewelry Industry in 1980, 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 often was 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.
Loyd valued community service. He served for six years in the Arkansas Air Force National Guard as a staff sergeant, was a Vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church, 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. He was nationally recognized in 1966 by the Jaycees as an Outstanding Young Man in America. 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 (LREA), 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. Loyd was also a licensed private pilot and owned several small aircraft. Land, sea and air – he covered it all.
Loyd led the Stanley Ski School (Team) which included 8 to 12 friends who shared his enthusiasm for the slopes and had an annual trip, which included industry veteran Bart Boydson.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to DeMolay International, NLR Boys and Girls Club, or The Little Rock Bridge House.