John Ray Weir, founder of Weir’s Furniture, passed away at his home on Monday at the age of 102.
“We are deeply saddened by his passing, but we are strengthened by his faith and legacy,” said Blake Weir, one of Weir’s five grandsons. “He was a pioneer in the industry and a mentor and inspiration to his family and associates.”
Weir served as president and chief operating officer of the company until 1972, when he passed leadership on to his son, Dan Weir. Although the patriarch was officially retired, he served on the board until 2009 and maintained a keen interest in the family-owned-and-operated company until his death.
After growing up on his grandparents’ Louisiana farm, Weir attended TCU for a short time before completing a brief stint at his father’s furniture store in Fort Worth. Although he was reluctant to become a second-generation furniture merchant, in 1948 he purchased Mullins Furniture, a modest twenty-foot by seventy-foot store at 3219 Knox Street, and renamed it Weir’s Early American Shop. With his wife, Bea, by his side, Weir immersed himself in every aspect of his business — from bookkeeping to ordering, polishing, selling, and delivering merchandise in his 1937 Chevy truck.
Following the opening of his first store, Weir expanded the Dallas home furnishings retailer to four locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The company celebrated its 50th anniversary by breaking ground on their second store in Plano, and just 10 years later, they opened a Southlake store. In 2011, Weir’s added a fourth location in Farmers Branch that houses the company’s corporate offices, warehouse, and outlet store.
Ensuring that customers were provided with the best possible service was a top priority for Weir, and the third and fourth generations of his family continue to carry that mission on today. And although he was an excellent merchant, Weir enjoyed a variety of hobbies including piloting, playing the organ, taking pictures, and working on his model railroad. An avid art collector, in his seventies Weir became an accomplished painter. His large extended family, however, was his greatest joy.
“Besides the Lord Jesus Christ, family is the greatest thing in life,” Weir often said.
Friends and colleagues describe Weir as a remarkable man whose integrity, kindness, generosity, dedication, and exemplary work ethic inspired others. And although he achieved a great deal both professionally and personally during his lifetime, Weir believed his deep faith and strong personal relationship with Christ would be his greatest legacy.
“His dedication to Christian principles remains his lasting gift to his family, friends, associates and community,” says granddaughter, Amy Fullerton.
A visitation for Weir will be held this Sunday at 5 p.m. at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at Park Cities Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Monday, following a graveside service at Restland Cemetery in Dallas. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations please be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in tribute to Weir’s love for his late wife Bea or to the J. Ray Weir Endowed Scholarship Fund at Dallas Baptist University.