The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - VL52
pany's leadership has remained in family hands,
with Sam Oakey III now serving as the President and
Chairman of the Board of a funeral service with five
chapels, a pet funeral home and 130 staff members.
He is joined by his son, Sam Oakey IV, the sixth generation to work in the company.
Grand Home Furnishings opened in 1911 in
downtown Roanoke as Grand Piano Company, in
an era when the piano was an important part of
home entertainment. Twenty years later, furniture
joined musical instruments, Victrolas, radios and
sheet music on the sales floor. After Atlanta businessman George Cartledge bought the company,
furniture became the main focus. Today, Grand
boasts 17 stores, two outlets and five warehouses in
Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. And it's hard
to find a shopper who hasn't been handed a cold
Coke right at the door of a Grand store, a tradition
that began in 1953.
Boxley Materials is another example of diversification into complimentary fields. With a corporate
GRAND HOME FURNISHINGS OPENED IN DOWNTOWN ROANOKE IN 1911.
52 | 2018 VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
headquarters established in Roanoke in 1906, William W. Boxley, in partnership with J.C. Carpenter,
was building and straightening railroads during a
time of expansion and consolidation of railways.
They quickly got into quarries to supply their own
needs for ballast and concrete. Today, Boxley produces concrete, aggregate, asphalt, block and brick
from 14 locations from central to southwest Virginia. William Boxley is known as the only non-partisan
mayor in Roanoke's history. The company is now
helmed by fourth generation Ab Boxley.
The Roanoke Valley is home to many businesses
with origins in the 19th and early 20th centuries -
The Roanoke Times, Graham-White Manufacturing
and MB Contractors are a few more examples - who
have remained an economic force by being nimble
and farsighted, benefitting from a talented workforce and a congenial business atmosphere. These
companies contribute to the quality of life here with
civic engagement and sustainability initiatives, attracting people and new business to the Valley. n
GRAND HOME FURNISHINGS: COURTESY OF GRAND HOME FURNISHINGS