Larry Smith, founder of Rockford’s Village Green, dies

Local News

Photo: Village Green Home and Garden

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Lawrence Smith, the founder and owner of Village Green Home and Garden, passed away Sunday evening at his daughter’s home in Mequon, Wisconsin, the company announced Tuesday.

Smith passed away after a long battle with cancer, Village Green said in a statement.

Smith started Village Green in 1965, a business which expanded to several locations throughout the city, most recently its flagship store at 6101 E. Riverside Blvd. and 2640 N. Main St.

In 2018 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishing Association (ICFA) and in 2016 the store received the prestigious Apollo Award and the Mary Freuhauf Retail Genius Award in recognition of marketing excellence in 2018.

The business also is appreciated locally in Rockford, Illinois winning the What Rocks Rockford Garden Center award in 2018 and 2019. It also was given the Casual Living’s Best Merchandising Award in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Larry Smith is survived by two daughters, Carolyn (Ray Carlson) Smith, and Cynthia Smith, and sisters Ann (Dennis) Costello, and Sue (Steve) Walker. 

Jessica Salisbury is Village Greeen’s CEO and creative director. Salisbury and her team are honored to continue Smith’s legacy and will remain strong in the community.

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