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Industry journalist Barbara Weathers dies at 78

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Barbara Weathers, a longtime furniture industry journalist, died in a hospital here last week after a brief illness. She was 78.

Weathers worked at the National Home Furnishings Assn. for nearly three decades. She joined the editorial staff of the association's magazine in 1969 and was named its editor in 1977. In 1982 she won the Writer's Hall of Fame Award from High Point's Southern Home Furnishings Center, now the International Home Furnishings Center.

Weathers was one of five NHFA staff members who moved to High Point in 1988 when the association relocated its headquarters there from its longtime home in Chicago. In 1989 she was named NHFA's vice president of communications, a title she held until her departure from the association several years later.

After leaving the NHFA she worked in public relations with an emphasis on home furnishings for a decade. From 1997-1999, Weathers worked for JP Hogan & Co. of Knoxville, Tenn. During that time she developed industry position statements on furniture flammability and helped teach corporate crisis communications, among other responsibilities. The crisis communications plan she helped create for the Polyurethane Foam Assn. remains in use today, according to PFA Executive Director Bob Luedeka.

NHFA sought Weathers' writing and editing skills once again in 2001 when she was asked to help pilot its magazine, by then called Home Furnishings Retailer, through a transition period. She spent the last decade of her life mentoring editorial talent, assisting NHFA with its communications, and writing about furnishings and trends. Her last cover story on color trends appeared in the January/ February 2011 issue.

Weathers was a graduate of the University of Alabama and began her journalism career as an assistant editor with the Birmingham News.

She was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Greensboro and volunteered for Higher Ground, a resource center operated by the Triad Health Project that prepares meals for persons affected by HIV/AIDS.

Survivors include a stepson, his wife and two step-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Higher Ground (www.triadhealthproject. com, or call (336) 274-5637) or to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org.)

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