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Roger Gant Jr., 86

Retail Editor 8 -- Home Textiles Today, July 27, 2010

Glen Raven, N.C. - Former Glen Raven president Roger Gant Jr. has died at age 86.

A second generation descendent of John G. Gant, who founded the company in 1880, Gant joined Glen Raven in 1948 and served in a number of positions, ultimately becoming president from 1972 to 1989. He also served as a director from 1926 to 2001, when he became director emeritus.

"It was my good fortune to have Roger as a wise and patient mentor, said Allen Gant Jr., the company's president and ceo. "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."

While Roger Gant Jr. lead the company, Glen Raven's sales more than quintupled and sales per employee more than doubled. He was responsible for introducing synthetic awning fabrics and created the Sunbrella brand in 1961.

Under Gant, Glen Raven supported educational programs at N.C. State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Institute of Textile Technology. For this work, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

His community work included involvement with several non-profits, 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 a community advisor to Wachovia Bank.

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