Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Dudley Flanders, Sr., age 69

Dudley Flanders, Sr., passed away peacefully at the age of 69 on May 31, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.

Born and raised in Fort Smith, Ark., Dudley graduated from Dartmouth College in 1975 and returned to Arkansas to work for Flanders Manufacturing Co., his parents’ case goods company. Thus was the start of a career that would lead him to become a luminary in the outdoor furniture industry. In 1982, Dudley and his father acquired the Lloyd Manufacturing Co. in Menominee, Michigan and founded Lloyd Flanders, Industries.  Dudley became president of Lloyd Flanders in 1983 and CEO in 1991.  Under his exemplary guidance the company rose to prominence as the industry leader in all-weather wicker.  His strong work ethic, steadfast integrity, and humble pursuit of excellence have inspired countless employees, co-workers, and customers. He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, it mattered.

Dudley’s influence in his field extended beyond Lloyd Flanders.  It was important to him to encourage the success of others. He served in countless industry leadership positions over the years, culminating in his receipt in 2015 of the illustrious Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. His quietly thoughtful presence and sage advice will be sorely missed.

Dudley’s inherent problem-solving ability manifested in many ways, from his love of crosswords and Jeopardy! to his notorious fix-it skills. He also rose to the occasion when asked to lend his expertise to others. Accordingly, Dudley served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Arkansas Valley Habitat for Humanity, Weldon Williams and Lick, Bruce-Rogers Company, the United Way, the Cancer Support Foundation, and the Westark Area Council of the Boy Scouts, among many, many others.

His faith was a bedrock of his life, and his family was his utmost priority. While Dudley’s passport was full and he never shied away from a new adventure, his favorite vacation was always a trip to Lake Ouachita with his family. One of his greatest joys was teaching his grandchildren how to fish.  He also loved to cook and grill, and his recipes for salmon, pork tenderloin, and award-winning chili have been shared across the country.

Dudley was preceded in death by his parents, Donald H. Flanders, Sr. and Phala Kathryn Flanders.  He is survived by his beloved wife, best friend, and partner of 44 years, Charlotte Meador Flanders; son Dudley (Tanya) Flanders, Jr. and grandchildren Madison, Myles, and Ezra Flanders; daughter Jessie Flanders; brother Donald H. Flanders, Jr.; sister Kathy Flanders; lifelong friends whom he called family, Rick Beauchamp, Neil Ed Crow, and Bill Steve Walker; and the Lloyd Flanders family in Menominee.

Never one to seek the spotlight, no funeral or memorial services will be held. Remembrances and condolences can be sent to rememberingdudley@gmail.com.  Keeping with Dudley’s giving spirit, his remains will be donated to UAMS to further medical teaching and research.

Dudley will be remembered for his extraordinarily charitable nature.  Accordingly, the family requests that expressions of sympathy be made in his name to one of the following organizations:

The Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation, 2 Natural Resources Dr., Little Rock, AR 72205

Arkansas Valley Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 754, Fort Smith, AR 72902

First Presbyterian Church, 116 North 12th St., Fort Smith, AR 72901

Grace Community Church, 4001 Brooken Hill Dr., Fort Smith, AR 72908

Dudley’s Online guestbook is available at www.anaturalstatefuneralservice.com

 

13 Comments

  • Dolleta Harrison Posted June 4, 2021 1:45 PM

    Dudley was a wonderful boss and caring person. Always ready to help with things for the kids. He will be missed.

  • Rick Fivekiller Posted June 4, 2021 2:37 PM

    Dudley and I attended high school together. He was a quality person and class act. My sincere condolences to the family. May you Rest In Peace my friend.

  • Jeri Donaldson Winfrey Posted June 5, 2021 10:18 AM

    Charlotte and family, I hope you find peace and comfort in the wonderful life you had with Dudley, and the memories to hold dear. I always remember the Flanders with such respect..

  • Rachel Alexander-Smith Posted June 5, 2021 2:01 PM

    It has been decades since I have had the chance to speak to any of the Flanders but I will always consider them like family with the way they included me while growing up. Mr. Flanders was such a kind person and cultivated that through his family. My prayers are with Charlotte, Jessie and Dudley Jr. Thank you all for the wonderful memories and generosity you showed me. Dudley Sr was a great example of a husband, father and business man and so many families and individuals are better for knowing him.

  • Becki Tripp Lewis Posted June 5, 2021 11:53 PM

    Dudley was an exemplary Boss…fun, compassionate, and generous. Though it has been many years since my days with Flanders Industries, he set the bar high and I will always remember him fondly.

  • Judy Stone Posted June 6, 2021 9:43 AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult times. I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you all. I was blessed to work for your family 31 years.

  • Walter Roettger Posted June 6, 2021 12:08 PM

    I came to know Dudley while he was serving on the Lyon College Board of Trustees. An acquaintance ripened into a friendship and I came to look forward to our visits in Ft. Smith and at the College. Always gracious and warm, Dudley was a man to be counted on and trusted; his counsel carried weight and meaning…even when delivered with a bit of humor as it so often was. Peggy and I send our deepest sympathies to Charlotte and the family.

  • Frank Fodge Posted June 7, 2021 11:08 AM

    Frank Fodge

  • Frank Fodge Posted June 7, 2021 11:54 AM

    Dudley and his wife Charlotte were instrumental in establishing the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Fort Smith and their support over the intervening years helped us to build over 100 homes for families in need in the River Valley. I had the pleasure of serving with Dudley on the Board of the Employers Health Coalition in the 90’s and was always impressed by his quiet, unassuming leadership. We pray for God’s comfort for his family and friends.

  • Cathy Jones Posted June 7, 2021 3:04 PM

    Jeff and I are so sorry for your families loss. If there is anything we can do please let us know.

  • Easy Barber Posted June 7, 2021 5:51 PM

    Charlotte & family – I was shocked and saddened to learn of Dudley’s passing. Please know my thoughts are with you …

  • Gordon Reynolds Posted June 13, 2021 4:53 PM

    Charlotte, Dudley – I am so very sorry to hear of Dudley’s passing. He was a good friend in HS and always showed everyone respect. Connie & I send our deepest condolences

  • ,MIKE HANNA Posted June 14, 2021 6:42 AM

    Dudley Flanders , very saddened, by your exit , you will always be rembered by your spirited heart and friendship,AMEN

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