JONESBORO, Ark.–Jimmy D. (“Jimmy Doyle”) Hunt, founder and former principal owner of Jimco Lamp Co., died at his home on March 21, after an extended illness. He was 72.
Hunt founded Jimco in 1963 and built the company from a small domestic assembly operation to one that designs, sources and distributes lamps, shades and accessories through most of the major channels of distribution in America, and to many customers across the world.
“Jim was a great analyst, teacher and mentor,” said Don Harmon, longtime president of Jimco and J.Hunt & Co. “He will be greatly missed by his Jimco family and his many friends and associates in the home industry.”
Born in Black Oak, Ark., on Oct. 1, 1935, Hunt graduated in 1959 from Arkansas State, where he received a degree in business administration. During his college years, he sold cookware for WearEver and received the number-one salesman award in the nation. Upon graduation, he was employed by Midsouth Plumbing, which was owned by his former in-laws, Pierre and Juanita Latourette. He later sold plumbing supplies, which would spark his interest in the lamp industry, and upon his return to Arkansas he joined efforts with his friend Rex Turner in the lamp business. Hunt would eventually go it alone, forming what today is known worldwide as Jimco Lamp Co. and its J.Hunt brand.
While Hunt sold the business to the management team’s investment group about three years ago, he remained a trusted mentor and consultant, Harmon said.
Hunt served two terms in the State House of Representatives for District 11 during the late 1960s, and in the early 1980s he served on the board of directors for First National Bank. He was a member of Magnolia Road Baptist Church and was a past member of the Jonesboro Exchange Club.
Hunt was predeceased by his parents, Houston and Jeanette Hunt; two sisters, Barbara Sue Jones and Jeanette Brown; and one brother, Alan Hunt. Hunt is survived by wife Glenna Hunt; two children of former wife Cora Latourette Hunt, Sonny and wife Darlene Hunt of Old Hickory, Tenn., and Tina and husband Warren Coots of Jonesboro; three granddaughters; two great-granddaughters; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held last Monday, March 24, at Emerson Memorial Chapel, followed by burial in Oaklawn Cemetery in Jonesboro.
Memorial donations may be made to the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society, P.O. Box 1042, Jonesboro, AR 72403; Magnolia Road Baptist Church, 911 Magnolia Road, Jonesboro, AR 72401; TLC, 2808 Fox Meadow Lane, Jonesboro, AR 72404; or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Online registry is at emersonfuneralhome.com.