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Former Arkansas state Rep. and Alzheimer's advocate Butch Wilkins dies at 75

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Family for former Arkansas lawmaker and Alzheimer's advocate Boyce "Butch" Wilkins, 75, say he passed away on Saturday.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that Wilkins' stepdaughter Christi Tidwell Bales posted on Facebook that he passed away that morning. Wilkins, of Bono, worked over 3 decades as a law enforcement officer for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission before being elected to the state House in 2008.

During his three terms in office, Wilkins pushed legislation establishing a state Alzheimer's task force. The move was motivated by the care Wilkins rendered to his wife, Pat. Patsy "Pat" Wilkins was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 58 and battled it for over a decade before succumbing to it in 2013.

Wilkins, himself, also suffered health problems. He received a double lung transplant in 2021. Services for Wilkins will start at 2 on Saturday afternoon at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro.

A Northeast Arkansas native from Wynne, I’ve been involved with radio for about 15 years. I got my Bachelor of Arts degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, where I also served as an award-winning News Director for 2 years at KSWH-LP.