Auguest 19/26 2013; Volume 27/number 9
Longtime Texas retailer
Canyon Lake, Tex.—William “Bill” Blackmon, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Aug. 9. An industry veteran for 42 years, he was 80 years old.
Born July 10, 1933, Backmon’s early years were spent in Houston, where he worked in every facet of the industry from carpet installation to owning his own retail chain of stores named Carpet Barn. In 1970, he merged his Carpet Barn stores with proprietor Vic Vitaro’s Carpet World of Houston. The resulting company retained the Carpet World name and became the largest carpet retailer in the Southwest U.S. with Blackmon serving as president.
From 1974 through 1995, Blackmon operated various carpet and flooring retail ventures in San Antonio. In 1974 he reopened Olmos Decorative Center, which eventually led to the formation of Crest Carpets and Rugs & Remnants.
In 1981, Blackmon was joined by his son, Ernie, in continuing to build their successful retail carpet enterprises in San Antonio. Their combined efforts led to the formation in early 1995 of San Antonio Carpet World. By the end of 1995, Bill Blackmon retired to persue his interests in commercial and ranch real estate.
San Antonio Carpet World became the largest carpet and flooring retailer in San Antonio for more than a decade. In 2006, Ernie Blackmon sold the company and followed his father into the commercial/ranch real estate business.
“Dad was an ‘old school’ businessman that learned from the ground up,” Ernie said. “With hard work and determination he was given opportunities from those he worked for. The greatest of those was Vic Vitaro, founder of Carpet World. Dad started in his warehouse sweeping floors and Vic saw something in him. He began to train and mold my dad into the businessman he became.
“Dad was never scared to take chances and kept his stores stocked with the best values and advertised constantly,” he added. “No one could ever keep up with him when he started a project. From building projects, working on his ranch or landscaping around the home he built, he was tireless.”
“Bill was a dedicated businessman who loved the flooring industry,” said his nephew, George Hearne of Shaw Industries. “He was passionate about his craft and proud of each business he built or worked in during his years in the industry.
“He was most proud of his son, Ernie,” he added. “They were more than just father and son. They were business partners until Bill retired from the business. To say Uncle Bill was dedicated to our industry would be a huge understatement.”
Blackmon was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Roberta Vorhees Blackmon. He is survived by his son, Ernie; three grandchildren, Amber, April and Cody; and two great grandchildren, Chandler and Sierra. He is also survived by his sister, Ruth Luffman.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill Blackmon be sent to: Tree of Life Church, 5513 Interstate 35 south, New Braunfels, Texas 78132 or treeoflifechurch.org.