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John Boardman Passes Away at 91

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John Boardman, who served as president of Sam Moore Furniture here for 40 years, passed away on July 8, 2020 at the age of 91.

Boardman was a graduate of Washington and Lee University and served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Gearing in the Korean War. Shortly after he left the Navy, he went to work in 1955 for his father-in-law, who was then the owner of Sam Moore. In 1957, Boardman purchased the company and became president. In the 40 years he led the company, it grew to be one of the largest upholstery furniture manufacturers in the Southeast U.S., known for custom fabric-to-frame production of chairs and occasional furniture in the upper-medium price points. From 1998 to 2007, Sam Moore was owned by La-Z-Boy until it was acquired in 2007 by its current owner, Martinsville, Va.-based Hooker Furniture Corporation.

Boardman served on numerous furniture-related boards, and was president of the American Furniture Manufacturers Assn. (now the AHFA) for several years, and in 1997 was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the association. He served his community on the Bedford, Va. School Board and the Bedford Hospital Board.

In 1999, following his retirement, Boardman returned to Washington and Lee University and entered law school at the age of 70. In 2006, he was awarded a Certificate of Achievement with honors after completing all courses for a law degree.

Boardman was pre-deceased by his parents and his wife of 62 years, Marilyn Moore Boardman. He is survived by his four daughters, brother, eight grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Bedford Family YMCA and The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


About Sam Moore Furniture: Sam Moore Furniture is a leader in crafting quality, custom upholstery. In 1940, a young Sam Moore and four of his friends bought the Delaware Chair Co. in Delaware, Ohio. A tough economy and a looming war forced Sam to relocate. The company moved south to Christiansburg, Va. in 1943 and to its current home in Bedford in 1960. Owned by Martinsville, Va.-based Hooker Furniture Corporation, the company operated from a 300,000-square foot facility that is a blend of state-of-the-art technology and hand craftsmanship.

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