• Thomas Lester

Gabby’s Don White passes away after battle with cancer

Spent 47 years in the industry

Don White, national sales manager for Gabby Home, died May 28 after a battle with cancer.

Born June 12, 1947 in Charlotte, N.C., White graduated from Kings College and spent the next 47 years in the home furnishings industry.

White joined Gabby in 2010 as national sales manager. Prior to that, he served in the same capacity for The Import Collection and spent time as a regional sales manager for IMAX. He got his start in the industry working for Napp Deady and managed his own rep firm, About the Home, for a decade.

William White, Gabby’s president, said he knew he could learn a lot from Don White (no relation) when the company hired him in 2010. While Don White became a mentor of sorts to William White, the company at-large benefited greatly from his years of experience and expertise.

“He had this legendary status, just being a real gentleman in the industry and a positive force. He really grew our sales – we’ve had tremendous growth and that’s due, in large part, to Don,” William White said. “He was an outgoing, positive personality. He knew everybody that walked into the showroom. He knew the landscape better than anybody I’ve ever seen.”

In his obituary published by the Charlotte Observer, it was noted that from the time White joined the industry, he didn’t miss a High Point Market until his health prevented him from attending in 2016.

John Haste, senior vice president of business development for rug and home décor manufacturer Surya credits White with showing him the ropes of the home décor industry.

“Don was someone I could count on and could trust. He was one of the first people that I met when I came into the industry. I had just come onboard with IMAX as the VP of sales and marketing and he was one of the owners of About the Home,” Haste said. “Coming from the hardware industry, I had things to learn about this industry and he provided some of that knowledge. He was respected – and as was brought out at the funeral – always dressed well; basically a walking Brooks Brothers. From the industry standpoint, it just lost a person that had been a multi-line rep, owned a multi-line rep agency and worked in sales management. Being in this for 47 years, he witnessed, participated in and adapted to an ever evolving industry.”

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; daughter Molly; son Sutton; a brother and a sister.

The family asks donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Thomas LesterThomas Lester | Business Editor

Thomas Lester is Business Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College's Mass Communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering an array of subjects, ranging from community news, government, education, ACC sports and more before joining Progressive Business Media in 2013. As business editor, Lester covers all aspects of business in the home accents world, from the latest news from manufacturers to successful retail strategies and business analysis.

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