Don Munro, founder of Munro Shoe Company, has died – Footwear News

Robert Malcolm “Don” Munro, the founder of Munro & Company, died on April 27 at the age of 94.

Born in Newton, Mass. on September 27, 1927, Munro graduated from Yale and proudly served in the army, where he was editor of the Stars and Stripes newspaper. He moved to Hot Springs, Ark. with his wife Barbara and their four children (the fifth arrived in 1963) in 1959. It was there that he established a shoe manufacturing plant which in 1975 became Munro & Company, Inc.

His business accomplishments were many and earned him the respect of his peers, as evidenced by his election as President of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in 2003, his induction into the FN Shoe Hall of Fame in the 2004 FNAA and his induction into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2005.

But it is his philanthropic efforts for which he will be most remembered. In 1985, he received the T. Kenyon Holly Award, the shoe industry’s highest philanthropic honor. In 1992 he became the first recipient of the Pew Foundation’s American Philanthropy Award. Also in 1992, he received the Roots and Wings Award and the Lugean Chilcote Award from the Community Foundation of Arkansas, which he led as president for ten years.

And just last month, Munro received a star on the Arkansas Walk of Fame in Hot Springs, which officially declared April 14 “Don Munro Day” by Mayor Pat McCabe.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter Lindy, his son Bruce and his wife Mary Beth and their children Nikki, Hannah, Braden, his son Neil and his wife Martha Jane Murray-Munro and their children Sarah and Evan, his daughter Mollie and her husband Tod Swiecichowski, her daughter Christine and her husband Robert Jackson, and over 100 relatives in her extended family.

Visitation was held at Gross Funeral Home in Hot Springs on Sunday, May 1. The memorial service was held at Garvan Gardens also in Hot Springs on Tuesday, May 3.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to a charity meaningful to the benefactor.

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