Arkansas Highway Commission chairman, steel manufacturing businessman, and Arkansas Business Hall of Fame member Tom Schueck passed away on Tuesday (March 3), according to a statement from the family. He was 78.
Schueck was the founder and former chairman of Lexicon Fabricators and Constructors, a major player in the steel manufacturing industry.
His son, Patrick, issued a statement on behalf of the family.
“Tom Schueck was a force to be reckoned with — both in business and in life. A titan of the steel industry, he approached every day with determination, melding blue-collar work ethic with innovative ideas to transform a fledging small business into one of Arkansas’s largest companies. But above all, he was a public servant and philanthropist whose generous spirit helped countless Arkansans in their pursuit of the American dream. No matter where he was, Tom captivated others with his larger-than-life personality, sarcastic wit and intellect, and he will be sorely missed by his wife, children, grandchildren and all who knew him,” Patrick Schueck said.
A spokesman for the family said he died of heart failure.
Tom Schueck was appointed to the Arkansas Highway Commission by Gov. Mike Beebe in 2011.
Lexicon celebrated 50 years in business in 2019. Schueck took a gamble a half decade ago and started his own construction company, Lexicon Construction and Fabrication. More than 50 years later, his company employed about 1,500 people and had annual gross revenues of more than $350 million, he told Talk Business & Politics last year.
A turning point for the company was 30 years ago when he won the bid to build the Nucor Yamato steel mill near Blytheville.
He was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2017. A 1965 civil engineering graduate from Washington University at St. Louis, Schueck was also a past member of the Little Rock Airport Commission and he served as a trustee for the Don Tyson Family Trust.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Schueck’s passing was a tremendous loss to the state for his business acumen, philanthropy, and public service.
“Early this morning, the state of Arkansas lost a true leader in business and public service. Tom Schueck created jobs in Arkansas. He helped build the steel industry in our state. He was devoted to his family. He was a diligent and effective Chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission. His blunt talk and his wry sense of humor will be missed,” Hutchinson said in a statement.