Memorial planned for Don Flanders of Lloyd/Flanders
Clint Engel -- Casual Living, April 10, 2012
Donald H. Flanders, 87, of Ft. Smith, Ark., passed away Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, in his home. An avid boater and devoted member of the Ft. Smith community, he is survived by son Don H. Flanders, Jr. and wife Valerie of Bangor, ME, son Dudley K. Flanders, Sr. and wife Charlotte, of Ft. Smith, daughter Kathy Flanders, of Fayetteville, Ark., granddaughter Gretchen McGinnis and husband Sean, of Denver, Colo., granddaughter Bridget Mercandetti and husband Mike, of Castle Rock, Colo., grandson Dudley K. Flanders, Jr. and wife Tanya, of Ft. Smith, granddaughter Jessie Y. Flanders, of Memphis, Tenn., granddaughter Shelby Lane Varner, of Fayetteville, Ark., and seven great-grandchildren.
Don was a prominent businessman and philanthropist. He graduated from Baylor University and served his country as a Lt. S.G. in the Navy during WWII. In 1954 he and wife Phala founded Flanders Mfg. Co., which became one of the largest case goods companies in the Southwest. That company was sold in 1969 to become part of Riverside Furniture. In 1970 he founded Flanders Industries, which, as the brand Lloyd/Flanders, has become the largest manufacturer of wicker furniture in the U.S. and one of the most prominent brands in the casual furniture industry.
Don was very active in industry associations and served as chairman and director of the Southwest Furniture Manufacturers Association, served on the Board of Governors of the Dallas Market Center, founded the Ft. Smith Manufacturing Executives Association, and served as chairman of the Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association. He served as the head of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission from 1980 through 1982. Don has been honored as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturer's Association and recognized as an Industry Fellow by the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
In addition to his numerous professional accomplishments, Don was a world traveler and a man of devout faith who lived a life of service. A dedicated volunteer member of the Boy Scouts on the local, regional, and national level, he was a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo awards. An Eagle Scout himself, Don was extremely proud that both his sons became Eagle Scouts as well.
The Ft. Smith community held a strong place in Don's heart, and he served on the boards of First National Bank, Sparks Health System, UAFS Foundation, The United Way, The Chamber of Commerce, Hardscrabble Country Club and the Administrative Board of First United Methodist Church.
A visitation will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tues., April 10 at the narthex of First United Methodist Church. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wed., April 11 at First United Methodist Church.
Memorials may be made to the Westark Council of the Boy Scouts of America, First United Methodist Church, the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House or the UAFS Foundation.