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Casual industry veteran W.C. Vice dies at 85

LEXINGTON, Ky. - W.C. Vice, a 58-year veteran of the casual furniture industry, died May 14 in Lexington, Ky., at age 85.

He began his career in 1956 as an order entry clerk at Vogue Rattan Manufacturer in Lexington. The owner soon realized that he was a natural salesman and promoted him to the sales department. His first territory in 1957 was the entire United States. In 1959 he was promoted to national sales manager and trained a number of industry salespeople.

Vice was the son of a Depression-era farm family. As he saved his earnings, he invested in the Vogue Rattan Co., and became the vice president of sales. When Vogue Rattan was sold to General Housewares in 1965, he took his modest financial interest and he and his wife, Betty, proceeded to open his own casual furniture specialty store, Casual Living & Patio Center, in Lexington.

Vice served on the founding board of directors of the Casual Furniture Retailers Association as treasurer. Under his direction, Casual Living & Patio Center was nominated 13 times for the Apollo Award, and won the award in 1995. Vice received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Casual Furniture Retailers Association in 2006.

According to his son, Carl Vice, he often told friends, family and acquaintances, "Casual furniture has been mighty good to me and my family."

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