LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Former Arkansas State Representative, Little Rock City Director, Pulaski County Justice of the Peace for District 6 and community leader John M. Lewellen, 87, died November 25.
Mr. Lewellen was elected to the City Board in 1991 and elected to the Pulaski County Quorum Court in 1996. After serving as a Pulaski County Commissioner, he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1999, representing District 34 for six years. During his tenure he co-founded the Democratic Black Caucus, chaired the Children and Youth subcommittee, and worked for growth of minority- and women-owned businesses among other issues.
Lewellen is primarily responsible for passing legislation which generated in excess of $5 Million dollars for restoring the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a Museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage located in Little Rock. His term ended in 2004 due to term limits. His wife, Wilhelmina Epps Lewellen, succeeded him and held the seat until she was also term limited in 2010.
He was an educator in the Hermitage and Altheimer school districts and retired from state government after a 30-year career with the state Department of Human Services.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Lewellen is survived by two daughters, Cornelia Lewellen Biddle (Marlon) of Little Rock and Ivie Lewellen Clay of St. Louis, MO; four grandchildren; and three sisters.
Services are pending.