With sadness, we share that Don Conner passed away on October 28, 2022 at the age of 75.
According to his obituary, Conner was a veteran of the United States Air Force, having received numerous decorations and citations while he served from 1966 to 1972. After returning home from the service, he went to work with his father at Conner Tile & Floor Covering Company. He then went on to start his own flooring company with Gary Ross called Country Carpet. Conner also worked for Harris Tarkett, then with Mullican Flooring as training manager and national rep.
“Don was a great teacher as he taught many people how to install, sell, and quote hardwood flooring projects. He was blessed with superior communication skills which started with Don being a good listener,” said Neil Poland, president of Mullican Flooring. “Most of all, Don was extremely passionate about hardwood flooring and teaching other people in the industry. Passion usually drives success because when you are passionate about a product, business, etc. it becomes fun and not work. Don worked many hours, but he enjoyed most every minute!”
“Don Conner was a better human being than anything else,” continued Poland. “He genuinely cared for people and wanted to help if someone was facing a problem in their life. I will remember Don as a great husband, father, grandfather, and friend.”
“Don was one of the kindest, most knowledgeable members of our industry. He was the backbone of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) from its very first meeting. His fingerprints are all over most of our publications, beginning with our industry installation guidelines, as well as the set up and training for all of our certification programs. His fingerprints also are all over the industry with a variety of different installation systems, products, and adhesives that he was responsible for introducing,” said Neil Moss, retired industry veteran. “I’m proud to have him as a lifelong friend. One could not ask for a better one. He truly will be missed.”
Conner was heavily involved in the NWFA. He worked there as the director of the NWFA Certified Professionals (CP) program until 2012. Throughout the years, he was on the NWFA Board of Directors, CP Board Chairman, numerous committees, spoke at Expo and Symposium, and was instrumental in the development of the NWFA Wood Flooring Installation Guidelines and the NWFA Inspector program. Conner wrote many of the original certification exams, and was a Certified Wood Flooring Inspector, Certified Installation Professional, Certified Sand & Finish Professional, and Certified Sales Advisor. He earned many NWFA degrees including Craftsman, Master Craftsman, Advanced Master Craftsman, Vanguard, and Ambassador. He received the 2012 NWFA Industry Leadership Award, and was given honorary lifetime membership and certification in 2013.
“The NWFA expresses our deepest sympathies to Don’s family,” said Michael Martin, president and CEO of NWFA. “Don was our friend and an industry legend. He never stopped working to better the wood flooring industry or the people who work within it.”
The family will receive friends Wednesday, November 2, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Johnson City Country Club. At 2:30 p.m., a tribute will be delivered by Brian Greenwell. Friends and family are invited to also share their memories of Conner at this service. Final arrangements are being made for a service in Rossville, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions may be sent to the National Wood Flooring Association, 111 Chesterfield Industrial Blvd., Chesterfield, MO 63005 or online via this link. Donations to the NWFA Education and Research Foundation in Conner’s honor will be used to fund scholarship programs for future generations of wood flooring professionals.