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Ray Anderson

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ANDERSON, Ray Ray Christie Anderson, of Atlanta, died Monday, August 8, 2011 at his home, surrounded by his loved ones. The founder and chairman of the modular carpet company, Interface, Inc., Ray was a devoted husband and father who was recognized worldwide as a visionary entrepreneur and a champion for the environment. Ray was 77. An honors graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology's school of industrial and systems engineering in 1956, Ray learned the carpet trade through 14-plus years in various positions at Deering-Milliken and Callaway Mills, and in 1973, set about founding a company to produce the first free-lay carpet tiles in America. Interface would go on to become the largest manufacturer of modular carpet in the world, but it was his legendary epiphany, at the age of 60, about business and its impact on the environment for which Ray will most be remembered. He received hundreds of honors, including an Honorary Doctorate from his beloved alma mater Georgia Tech, which he received just this past Friday. He served on many boards and committees, including chairing the President's Council on Sustainable Development under President Clinton. Ray is survived by his wife, Pat, and by his family: daughter, Mary Anne Lanier and her husband Jaime of Marietta; daughter, Harriet Langford and her husband Phil of LaGrange; and stepson, Brian Rainey and his wife Flor of Atlanta. Grandchildren include: Jay and Whitney Lanier of Asheville, NC; John Lanier and Patrick Lanier of Marietta; Melissa and Kalin Heflin, McCall Langford and great-granddaughter, Bailey Heflin all of LaGrange; and by his brother, Dr. William Anderson of Conneaut, Ohio. The funeral will be held at eleven o'clock in the morning on Thursday, the eleventh day of August at Northside United Methodist Church, 2799 Northside Drive, Atlanta, with Rev. Gil Watson presiding. Interment will follow at Shadowlawn Cemetery in LaGrange, GA at one thirty in the afternoon on Thursday. The family will receive friends at H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill in Atlanta on Wednesday, the tenth day of August from five o'clock until seven o'clock in the evening. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (www.worldwatch.org), the Georgia Conservancy, 817 West Peachtree Street, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30308 (www.georgiaconservancy.org) or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at hmpattersonspringhill .com.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Aug. 10 to Aug. 11, 2011
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