Former Arkansas Senator Vada Webb Sheid, 91, of Mountain Home, Ark., died Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, at her residence. She was born Aug. 19, 1916, in Wideman, Ark., to J. W. "Bill" and Gertrude Reynolds Webb. On Dec. 31, 1941, she married Carl R. Sheid of Norfork, Ark.
Sheid was a founder and owner of Sheid's Furniture Company in Mountain Home and a prominent figure in Arkansas politics. She began her career in public service in 1935 at the age of 19 as the Izard County Welfare director then later served as Baxter County treasurer, and was the first woman elected to both the Arkansas House of Representatives and Senate which she served for over 20 years. Considered among her greatest accomplishments were the sponsoring of legislation to create Arkansas State University-Mountain Home and North Arkansas Community College in Harrison, the construction of the twin bridges over Lake Norfork and many highway projects across north Arkansas.Sheid was a member of First United Methodist Church, the Business and Professional Women, the Baxter County Democratic Club, the Baxter Regional Medical Center Foundation Board, the American Red Cross and served as chairman of the Arkansas State Police Commission.She is survived by one son: Richard (and wife, Mary) Sheid, of Mountain Home; three grandchildren, Stacy Lane Sheid and Zachary Adam Sheid both of Mountain Home and their mother, Donna Wood of Fayetteville and Ashley Kimberling of West Plains, Mo; one aunt, Eunice Alexander of Mountain Home; three nieces, Estella Hoffman, Jackie Raney and Jan Yurkowski all of Norfork; and caregivers, John and Maria Peede of Salesville, Ark. She was preceded in death by: her parents; and her husband.Funeral services were held Thursday, Feb. 14, at First United Methodist Church with Reverend Dr. Ed Matthews, Rev. Siegfried Johnson and Randy Ludwig officiating. Interment followed in Baxter Memorial Gardens.Pallbearers were: Joe Dillard, Joe Edmonds, Stan Townsend, Skip Rutherford, Bob Roten, Lyndle McCurley and Roy Danuser.Memorials may be made to the Vada Sheid Community Development Center at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. Visit the online guestbook at: www.rollerfuneralhomes.c om.