Former Glen Raven President Roger Gant Jr. dies

Remembered as a war veteran, innovator, industry and community leader

Roger Gant Jr., who led the team that created Glen Raven's Sunbrella brand of

performance fabrics in the early 1960s, has died at the age of 86.

Gant served as president of Glen Raven, Inc. from 1972 to 1989. He served the

company in a variety of management positions and was president and a board

member for 55 years.

wrayward_Roger_Gant_Jr_W.jpg"It was my good fortune to have Roger as a wise and patient mentor," said


Glen Raven President and CEO Allen E. Gant Jr. "As is true for many Glen

Raven associates, Roger not only taught me the principles of good business,

but also the value of family, community and people. He was a good and

faithful steward of our company and set us on a solid course that is

sustaining even today.

"Our family and all Glen Raven associates are greatly saddened by Roger's

death," added Allen Gant Jr. "He was an inspiring leader, a dedicated husband

and father and one of the brightest and most compassionate individuals you

could ever care to meet. The world is a better place because Roger was here,

and we will miss him greatly."
Roger Gant Jr. was born on May 9, 1924 in Alamance County, N.C., a second

generation descendent of John Q. Gant, the founder of Glen Raven, Inc. 

Gant served with the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving decorations for

meritorious service. After the War, he returned to North Carolina where he

graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He met his

wife, Rose Anne, while attending college and they returned to Alamance County

where they raised three children, Anne, Alice and Roger III. 

Following graduation from UNC, Gant joined Glen Raven on Oct. 1, 1948 and

held a variety of positions culminating in president in 1972, a position he

held until his retirement from management in 1989. Gant also served as a Glen

Raven director, beginning with his first appointment on May 1, 1946. He

continued to serve as a director for 55 years until his retirement from the

board on June 7, 2001 and became director emeritus.

An innovative leader during his many years of service as a manager and

director with Glen Raven, Gant  fostered countless technical, financial and

process improvements throughout the company while also encouraging the

professional development of Glen Raven associates through continuing


Under Gant's leadership, Glen Raven's sales more than quintupled and sales

per employee more than doubled. One of his most important achievements for

Glen Raven was the introduction of synthetic awning fabrics and creation of

the Sunbrella brand beginning in 1961. Sunbrella is today one of the world's

leading performance fabrics brands, recognized as the market leader for

awnings, boating and furniture.
Not only did Gant foster innovation within Glen Raven, he also championed

progressive thinking throughout the textile industry. Under his leadership,

the company provided support for educational programs at N.C. State

University, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Institute of Textile Technology. In

recognition of his support for the performance fabrics industry, Gant

received a lifetime achievement award from the Industrial Fabrics Association


Gant was also a community leader, involved in numerous nonprofit

organizations including Boy Scouts, Alamance Arts Council, his church and

diocese, YMCA, United Way and Salvation Army. He also served as a trustee for

Elon College, now Elon University and community advisor for Wachovia Bank.

Subscribe to
Casual Living eWeekly
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

Exterior Design

Exterior Design

See our new publication!  Exterior Design promises to showcase the best, most innovative product design across all key categories of outdoor.  With a unique vision and a focus on fashion, design, luxury and style, it's a must-see magazine for forward-thinking designers and high-end retailers. See the latest issue!

September Digital Edition

CL Sept

Don’t miss the September digital edition of Casual Living! This month, we focus on trends—what’s hot now, what’s on the horizon and how they affect your business. Editor in Chief Waynette Goodson offers an overview of some of the biggest emerging trends, Features Editor Jennifer Bringle looks at the blurring line between indoor and outdoor spaces, and Assistant Editor Alex Milstein explores the influence of full-line retailers on the casual category.
Also in This Issue:
• @Market: Get a taste of some of the innovative new products making their debut at Casual Market Chicago.
• Exclusive Research: We give you a research trifecta with our annual Powerhouse Retailers, E-tailers and Full-line Furniture Store reports.
• Design 101: Designer Libby Langdon explains how fashion can inspire the outdoor room.
August Digital Edition