Co-workers remember Edmond developers as visionaries

Wednesday, August 4th 2004, 5:53 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Two men who died with four others in a plane crash in Lakeway, Texas, were residential developers who helped shape the manufactured home industry in Oklahoma.

``A lot of our retailers will have storefronts. These young men not only had storefronts, but they built communities,'' Deanna Fields, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma, said Wednesday.

Curtis Treadwell and Jason Jones died Tuesday when the twin-engine propeller plane they were in crashed into a luxury home on a golf course, less than two miles from the airpark where the plane had refueled.

Also killed were Treadwell's wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Hunter, 1, and Patrick, 3. The Oklahoman identified the sixth victim as pilot Richard Fisher, the owner of Oklahoma City-based Aviation Flight Specialists.

Employees at Fisher's company referred calls to his attorney, who did not return telephone messages.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Fields described Curtis Treadwell and Jones as rising stars in the manufactured homes industry. She said the two men were competitors but comrades.

``It was a long-term venture to be involved in this industry,'' she said. ``They loved it.''

Treadwell served on the association's board several years ago and worked to show how manufactured homes could be architecturally compatible with other types of housing.

Treadwell, owner of Monarch Innovative Homes, developed manufactured-home communities in west Oklahoma City, and Jones, owner of Broadway Homes, created communities in Edmond.

Mark Mitchell, an Oklahoma City lawyer and family friend of the Treadwells, told the Austin American-Statesman that Treadwell moved to Oklahoma City a decade ago to manage an expansion of his father's business.

``He was so full of zeal and zest for life,'' Mitchell said. ``He was very much a people person, and that's how he conducted his business. He tried to make people happy.''

Mitchell said the couple loved their children and spent much of their time together as a family.

Treadwell treated his three employees like family, too, said Shannon Hatcher, the finance manager for Monarch.

``We always ate lunch together _ you know, like a family dinner,'' she said. ``He was a very good boss. If we ever needed anything, he took care of us.''

Treadwell left for Dallas on Monday afternoon and said he would be back on Tuesday, she said.

Jennifer Bozarth, a loan originator who used to work for Jones, is helping out at Broadway Homes for several days.

This is the time of year new models of manufactured homes come out in Dallas. Treadwell and Jones could had been examining the designs and deciding which models to buy, Bozarth said.

Jones focused on doing well in his business so he could take care of his family, Bozarth said. He was married and had three young sons, his company said.

``Jason was very calm, very patient,'' Bozarth said. ``He was always very laid back and just cared a lot about his family.''

Co-workers said the Treadwell and Jones families were making funeral arrangements. A woman who answered the telephone at the Jones' residence declined to comment, and calls to the Treadwell family were not answered.