Dr. Melvin “Lanny” Belknap died Saturday, Jan. 5. He was born Oct.11, 1935, in Ranger, Texas, to Melvin and Lora Belknap. He grew up in North Little Rock where he graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1954. Following graduation, he spent four years in the US Navy.
He graduated from Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas) in 1963 and from UAMS in 1967, followed by an internship at St. Vincent Hospital. Upon completing medical school, He joined Dr. Amail Chudy and Dr. Bruce Schratz at the North Little Rock Family Practice Clinic where he continued to serve for his entire professional medical career. He served on numerous committees at Memorial Hospital, including a term as Chief of Staff. He was a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He retired from active practice in 1997.
He was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church from 1968 until his death, where he served on the vestry, chaired a capital campaign committee, and served on various other committees. He went on a medical mission sponsored by Christ the King Catholic Church to Honduras with Doctors Without Borders in 1999.
Survivors include his wife Jean of North Little Rock; sons, Jim Belknap and wife Tammy and Michael Belknap and wife Shelia both of Maumelle; grandchildren, Jeremy, Dalton, and Madison Belknap, and Brittany and Brandon Keathley; sister, Letha Mills and husband Naylor of North Little Rock; nephews, Eric Mills of Little Rock and Charles Mills of Denton, Texas; aunts, Jo Hans of San Antonio, Texas, and Norma Jetton and husband Ken of Clovis, N. M.; and numerous cousins.
When Dr. Belknap married Jean Forbes, he married into a family of four girls; so he became the first beloved “brother” of the following: Shirley (Loyd) Thomas; Laura (Bob) Lester; and Judy (Stan) Wildman. He also leaves a goodly number of nephews and nieces on that side of the family, as well as a host of extended family and friends.
A memorial service was held Wednesday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, with Reverend Carey Stone officiating with a reception that followed in the church hall.
The family requests that donations be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4106 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, AR 72116
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