Former Little Rock Mayor and longtime Pulaski County Judge F.G. “Buddy” Villines died Saturday night at the age of 76.
Villines, a Democrat, was first elected to the Little Rock city board of directors in 1984. He served as vice mayor of Little Rock in 1987 and 1988 and as mayor of Little Rock from 1989 to 1990. In 1991, Villines was elected Pulaski County judge and served multiple terms until his retirement in 2014.
As County Judge, Villines oversaw the construction of the Two Rivers Park Bridge and the Big Dam Bridge, as well as the Junction Bridge renovation. He was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock as well as the construction of what is now Simmons Arena. He was an avid supporter and helped expand the central Arkansas bike trail system.
“Buddy redefined the role of county judge,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde.
During his time as a county judge, Villines served as president of the County Executives of America, the National Association of Regional Councils, and the National Association of Municipal Planning Organizations.
“We are where we are today with our trails and county amenities thanks to Buddy,” Hyde said. “He’s the best judge we’ve ever had, and I’m proud to have known him and learned from him.”
Villines is survived by his wife and two daughters. Funeral arrangements are pending.