As Howard Lorton Furniture & Design celebrates its 96th year, we are saddened by the passing of its President and long-time HFA Member, Bill Cook.
Bill joined the Home Furnishings Association in 1984 and was passionate about our industry. He attended almost 100 High Point Furniture Markets and, at age 85, still came in to work at least one day a week until July 2023.
Bill Cook (William Lorton Cook, Sr.) is a remarkable individual whose legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of Howard Lorton Furniture & Design. Bill Cook’s journey through life was marked by extraordinary dedication, resilience, and a passion for excellence.
The story of Howard Lorton Furniture & Design is a testament to the enduring commitment of the Lorton family. A Stanford architecture school graduate, Bill Cook returned to Denver at the request of his grandfather, Howard, to join the family business. Little did he know that his journey would take an unexpected turn just one year later when Howard passed away, leaving him as the torchbearer of this storied establishment.
Throughout the years, Bill Cook tirelessly searched the industry to bring the best home furnishings to discerning consumers, honoring the legacy of excellence laid down by his forebears. His commitment to providing unparalleled personal service, the cornerstone of Howard Lorton Furniture & Design, was unwavering. As Howard Lorton put it, “Personal service is the foundation upon which we hope to build a lasting and happy relationship between ourselves and those patrons who favor us with the opportunity.” These words, engraved on the invitation to Howard Lorton Galleries’ opening, remained at the core of Bill Cook’s ethos until his final days.
He was an icon in the furniture industry, building partnerships and friendships with leading manufacturers, and was a leader in retail home furnishings. As Jack Glasheen, former president of Hancock & Moore, wrote in a letter from 1992, “… this story supports what everyone in the industry thinks about you and your company – that you are an honest, an excellent leader and your company reflects the type of person you are. We are fortunate to have you in the industry.”
Bill Cook’s legacy lives on not only in the beautiful spaces he created but also in the lives he touched, the relationships he nurtured, and the enduring excellence of Howard Lorton Furniture & Design.
Bill Cook was succeeded by his son Will as President, who will continue to carry the legacy of Howard Lorton Furniture & Design.