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Innovative Iowa Furniture Retailer Thomas B. Liddell Passes At 88

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Thomas B. Liddell

Thomas B. Liddell, age 88, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Businessman, War Hero. Known to all as a true gentleman, Tom passed away peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 6th, 2013 at 88 years old.  

Mr. Liddell was a veteran of World War II (82nd Airborne Div.), having bravely served his country as a paratrooper. He graduated from the Palmer School of Chiropractic and practiced in Sparks, Nevada.

He returned to  to establish a successful business with his brother Francis Des Moines, IA, Liddell Brothers Furniture, which eventually expanded to Urbandale, IA as Liddell Plaza Furniture.

He was a furniture retailer in Iowa for over 40 years.  As a small town retailers go, Liddell was considered innovative in advertising and promotion. He was one of the first retailers in the country to promote “Three Room Groups”, the forerunner of room selling. He was also one of the first stores to capitalize on the highly successful buy one get one free recliner events, a promotion that eventually was used by almost every retailer in the country. His ads were frequently picked up by clipping services and shared with other retailers throughout the country.

He was a respected parishioner and benefactor of St. Pius X Church in Urbandale for many years. He and wife Norma retired to Ft. Myers, FL and recently moved to Spring Hill TN to be near family. Mr. Liddell lived an exemplary life and was respected by all that knew him. Visitation was held on Tuesday, Jan 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, 3009 Columbia Ave., Franklin, TN 37064 615-794-2289, www.williamsonmemorial.com, Interment will be at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines, IA at a later date.

Mr. Liddell is survived by his wife of 25 years, Norma Douglas Liddell, children Denise (John) Allis, Debra (Greg) Betts, Diane (Dan) Goering, Donna (Mike) Adams, Thomas G. (Cheryl Finch) Liddell, Lora (Jim) Liddell, and Barclay (Dee) Douglas, his brother Francis Liddell, sister, Mary Lou Culbertson, as well as dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thomas was raised in East Des Moines, IA by parents Arnold and Carrie (Brown) Liddell. He was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years Lora “Ginny” Gardner Liddell, brothers; William, Arnold, Joseph and sister, Sarah Ann Liddell. 

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