Tim Massanelli (right) is pictured with former House Speaker Robbie Wills presiding over a legislative session. He served as parliamentarian for 38 years. (PHOTO: Facebook)

LITTLE ROCK – He was never a legislator, but few would deny that Tim Massanelli ruled the daily operations of the Arkansas House of Representatives during his 38 years as the parliamentarian. The legendary political figure died over the weekend at the age of 85.

“One of the finest men I’ve ever had the privilege to work with, learn from and be mentored by.” former House Speaker Robbie Wills said on social media Monday. “Our state is immeasurably greater because of your service and greatly saddened by your passing.”

After attending Drury College, he returned to Arkansas and simultaneously held a number of jobs, which included working on the family farm, running a liquor store, and running a coin-operated machine business. At G. W. “Buddy” Turner’s suggestion, Massanelli became the parliamentarian for the Arkansas legislature. He retired in 2011 after serving for thirty-eight years.

In addition to his work as a parliamentarian, Massanelli was ordained as a deacon through the Permanent Diaconate in the Catholic Church. He served Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in the diocese of Little Rock.

Funeral services are pending.

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