Napa Furniture Design to hold memorial for Tom Underhill at High Point Market

Industry veteran and design expert died May 15 after a battle with liver cancer

HIGH POINT — Friends and colleagues of Frank Thomas Underhill will hold a memorial during the October High Point Market for the industry veteran who died on May 15 at age 76.

A Washington state native, Underhill was born Sept. 18, 1946, and started his career in the industry working in his father’s furniture store, helping to grow the business to multiple locations.

Tom Underhill inspects case goods coming down the line at the Napa source factory in Indonesia.

He is perhaps best known for starting solid wood case goods resource Tradewins LLC in 1999. Following the success of his youth bedroom collections, he expanded into adult bedroom and dining. He designed many of these products himself, using his years of industry experience in retail and on the supply side of the business to create relevant styles in the marketplace.

In 2011, he retired the company name and embarked on a new venture called Napa Furniture Design with three business partners, Kevin O’Keefe, Marc Madnick and Bobby Papazian. Like Tradewins, the company specializes in solid wood bedroom and dining furniture.

“His talent for design and his eye for finishes allowed him to become one of the leaders in the industry,” an announcement for his memorial read. “His unique talent and understanding of the market was a major factor in establishing the foundation for Napa’s success.”

On a personal note, it added, “Tom’s contagious laughter, spirit, kindness and humility will forever be part of our lives. He will be sorely missed.”

The memorial and dinner, which is open to Napa Furniture associates, family members and other invited guests, will take place starting around 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Napa Furniture showroom in Space 310 of Furniture Plaza.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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