Industry Mourns the Untimely Death of James Scarlett in Plane Crash

The wood manufacturing industry is in mourning following the tragic death of James Scarlett, owner of Scarlett Inc., based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Scarlett, a prominent figure in the sector, died in a plane crash on April 12th while returning from the Wood Industry Conference in Florida.

Local authorities reported that the crash occurred as Scarlett was piloting his Piper PA-32 Saratoga. The aircraft, which had departed from St. Petersburg, Florida, and made a stop at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville for refueling, tragically did not reach its final destination of Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

Recently appointed as the chair of the executive committee of the newly formed Wood Industry Association, Scarlett had taken over leadership at Scarlett Inc. from his father, Jim Scarlett. He was celebrated for his innovative approach and dedication to enhancing the experiences of clients and colleagues, significantly shaping the industry’s landscape.

Born on April 22, 1978, in Lansing, Michigan, James Scarlett was a graduate of Michigan Technological University, where he studied Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration. Beyond his professional achievements, Scarlett was known as a family man devoted to his wife Amanda and their two children, Tucker and Quinlan. His passion for adventure and community involvement made him a beloved figure both within and outside of the industry.

Scarlett Inc. and the broader wood manufacturing community have expressed deep sorrow over Scarlett’s passing, highlighting his role as a mentor and advocate for the industry. Plans for a memorial are underway, with many colleagues and industry members expected to honor his legacy and contributions.

James Scarlett is survived by his wife, Amanda; his sons, Tucker and Quinlan;  his parents, James and Bonnie Scarlett; siblings Ryan, Mark, and Kelli Scarlett: and his dog, Stella. The loss of such a dynamic and inspiring leader has left a profound impact on all who knew him and on the industry he helped shape.

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