Industry executive Lynn Davis dies in tornado
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, April 28, 2011
An employee at his company, Davis Furniture Inds., confirmed that he had died.
Sources said Davis was driving through the storms to help a friend whose house was damaged or destroyed. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that his truck was thrown several miles.
The severe weather was responsible for at least 213 fatalities in the South, the Associated Press reported, and officials expected the death toll to rise.
Several plants in the upholstery manufacturing region of northeast Mississippi also were in the path of the storms and may have suffered damage.
Davis, who was vice president of Davis Furniture, had been a prominent figure in Mississippi furniture manufacturing for years. He also was a co-founder of the Tupelo Furniture Market and an owner of showroom buildings in High Point, and served on the High Point Market Authority board.
Davis was honored in 2005 with the City of Hope's Spirit of Life Award.
Tommy Miskelly, a partner in retailer Miskelly Furniture of Jackson, Miss., said he and his family were close to Davis and were shaken by the news. Miskelly praised Davis for everything from the way he had raised his children to how quickly he was able to adapt his business to the whirlwind changes in the industry.
He said Davis was a "changed man" after he survived a head-on auto collision on his way to a High Point Market a few years ago.
"He was a different person from then on," Miskelly said. "He had a lot of faith. He was one of the good guys in the industry. He did a lot of good and provided a lot of jobs."