of Conway, AR
September 24, 1949 - December 30, 2015
Ralph Robert "Bobby" Loyd, age 66, of Conway died Wednesday, December 30, 2015 of a heart attack. He was born September 24, 1949 in Nuremberg, Germany, to the late Inge and Troy Loyd, and is survived by his loving husband of forty-one years, John Schenck. Fairy godfather to Justin Rawls, he will be deeply missed by a host of friends and people whose life he touched. Although born in Germany, Robert grew up in Damascus, Arkansas, attending Bee Branch/Southside School, including the original two room schoolhouse. In high school he was a member of the Beta club. Upon graduation from high school, Robert joined the Army, although he was courted by all five branches of the military. He served a tour in Vietnam that might have been shorter had he not often been compelled to speak out against injustices he saw. After his discharge from the Army, Loyd became a licensed hairdresser in Palm Beach, Florida, where he met his husband, John Schenck. Loyd and Schenck worked in New York for four years until they moved to Damascus, AR to care for Loyd's ailing mother. At one time they had salons in Damascus, Greer's Ferry, Heber Springs, Conway and Little Rock. Officially foster parents for eleven years and unofficially for many more, Loyd and his partner never turned away a child who had be abandoned due to their sexual orientation, serving as legal guardians for four of them. Often calling himself a reluctant activist, Loyd co-founded the Gay Pride Parade in Conway and fought tirelessly for gay rights in Arkansas and nationwide, even if it meant appearing at the Supreme Court in a suit and his trademark ruby slippers. This year's Conway Gay Pride Parade, the thirteenth, will be dedicated to his memory. Loyd and Schenck were often invited to share their experiences in the gay rights movement on college campuses, including UALR, UCA and Hendrix. Their story was also the subject of the award-winning documentary, "Pink Houses."Memorial donations can be made to Lucie's Place, 300 S. Spring Street #803, Little Rock, AR. A memorial service in celebration of Robert's life in planned at St. Peter's Church, Conway, on January 16th, at 1pm.
John: Sorry we can't be there today, but our thoughts are!
John my heart is with you. Over the years I have always been so touched by learning from both of you. I know that my kids that I brought to your house always felt the love that you both shared so openly with everyone. What an honor it has been to fight along with someone so courageous and giving. All my love.
John, there are no words. I am so sorry for your loss. Robert was such a wonderful, bright light. I will miss him, he went much too soon.
John - I am so sorry to hear of Bobby's passing. I will always remember our Tuesday night canasta games over at Jim & Bonnie's. It was a long time ago, but I think about the laughter and fun we had. My prayers are with you.
Dear John, It is with a sad heart that I contact you tonight. Bobby was a very unique person with a heart as big as the sky. I so admired his love for his sweet mother, and for you. You and Bobby are so courageous, I am happy to have known you. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you, you have my deepest sympathy. He touched many lives, and his memeory will continue to inspire many.
John, I was so sorry to hear about Robert; my sincere condolences to you and your family. Robert was a very special person. Sending prayers for you, rest in peace Robert.
John, so sorry to hear about Robert..Praying for you and your family..Rest In Peace Robert.. Sue Watson
John I was so saddened to hear of Roberts passing. He was always a funny sweet man and it never failed every time I left the salon I left with a good hair due and a some funny stories and memories. I'm honored in the fact that both of you showed up at my wedding all those many years ago.. Robert was a great man and I"m glad I can call him a friend. You both fought for the rights of others and never backed down. May robert rest in peace and be with with his momma and others that have long since gone. His light will always shine brightly. RIP Robert..