Henry Clay Browne III

Photo of Henry Clay Browne III
On Tuesday, December 20th, Henry "Hank" Browne, passed away at the age of 82. A legendary Arkansas businessman and founder of Hank's Fiiiine Furniture, many will remember his decades of TV commercials. Hank was a native of Perryville, Ark., and graduated from Perryville High at age 16 after skipping two grades. He served four years in the U.S. Navy before obtaining a business degree from UALR. After college, Hank went to work for the Frank Lyon Company and demonstrated his exceptional sales ability and became a prized employee of Frank Lyon Sr. A natural born self-starter, on his 30th birthday he decided to branch off on his own and opened a TV and appliance store called Garner Browne. In 1975, he opened Freight Sales furniture and had three Arkansas locations. In order to keep up with a changing retail landscape, Freight Sales was converted to Hank's furniture in 1995 and Hank's legendary tagline of "Hank's Fiiiiine Furniture" was born. Advertising was Hank's favorite part of the business and his creative and friendly approach resonated with customers for decades. Today, Hank's furniture has 18 locations in four states and ranks among the Top 100 furniture retailers in the United States. Outside of work, Hank's passion was the outdoors and he was an avid sportsman. He loved hunting in his home state of Arkansas and could be known to duck hunt every day of the season. He worked year-round on his land on the Cache river and was extremely proud of it being one of the last hardwood bottoms in the state. At his lodge, Willowbar, he loved watching the White River and all the wildlife surrounding it. He cultivated his deer population meticulously and produced many huge bucks. Hank was inducted into the Arkansas Game and Fish Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2021 and was a major supporter of the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas and of Delta Waterfowl. Hank's hunting adventures were not limited to his home state. He was an avid quail hunter in the 1980s and traveled west many times to elk hunt. He killed a trophy winning red stag in the west Texas hill country and adored fishing in south Louisiana on the Gulf coast. He lived on St. George Island, Fla., for over 20 years, and loved going offshore to fish for red snapper and grouper. Outside of the U.S., Hank loved traveling to Africa for big game hunting, wing shooting and fishing on the Zambezie River. He fished on the Amazon River multiple times for peacock bass, shot doves in Argentina, and hunted and fished in many foreign countries. His lifetime of adventures landed him on all seven continents. Hank was adored by his family, friends and employees. Family was very important to Hank, and his friends were equally dear to him. He loved hosting and cooking for people at his homes in Arkansas and Florida. He had many lifelong friendships and was a mentor and father figure to many of his younger friends. He is survived by his loving wife and partner in adventure, Cathy; and daughters, Jennifer Browne (Robin Morris), Mary Browne Allen (Ryan), and Laura Browne Lowery; seven grandkids, Eva Allen, Thomas Morris, Ian Morris, Gretchen Allen, True Waymack, Rory Waymack, and Jack Lowery; and a sister, Libby Fowler (Bob). Honorary pallbearers are Walt Davis, Tripp Estlinbaum, Ben Reese, Randy Northern, Larry Tarvin, and Grayson Shepard. There will be a celebration of life on January 5th in the Grand Hall of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Women & Children First in Little Rock, Ark. Cremation Services of Arkansas 501-313-5431.

Published December 23, 2022