Service To Be Sunday For Former Governor, Senator Dale Bumpers

Jan 4, 2016

Former Senator and Governor Dale Bumpers in 2013.
Credit Danny Johnson/AP / NPR

A memorial service is planned for Sunday for Dale Bumpers, the former U.S. senator and Arkansas governor who died last week. He will also be discussed by a longtime colleague during a lecture Wednesday in Little Rock.

Bumpers, who was 90, died Friday night at his home in Little Rock, three weeks after falling and breaking his hip.

The memorial service will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

Bumpers' life will also be discussed by former U.S. Sen. David Pryor, who served alongside Bumpers for a couple of decades in the Senate.  The Legacies & Lunch event, which is presented in partnership with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, had previously been scheduled to focus on Pryor, but with Bumpers' death, Skip Rutherford, who will host the event, said on Twitter that they will also "reflect and remember Dale Bumpers." It will take place Wednesday at 12 p.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock.

Bumpers was a little-known lawyer from Charleston when he defeated former Gov. Orval Faubus for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1970, then defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller in the general election. Four years later he defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in the Democratic primary and won the seat in the Senate.

Bumpers was best known nationally for delivering an impassioned defense of Pres. Bill Clinton during the impeachment trial of 1999.

Material from the Associated Press contributed to this report.