Karl Neupert, 62, died Dec. 16 at home in Portland, Ore., following a short but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He had been diagnosed just 10 days prior to that. He was president/CEO of Consolidated Supply, a wholesale firm based in Tigard (Portland), Ore. He served as president of the American Supply Association in 1999 and was part of the committee that created the ASA White Paper in 1998, which restructured the association.

Neupert was the third generation of his family to run Consolidated. He joined the firm in 1962, working for his father, Karl F. Neupert, as an assistant purchasing agent. His career at the company progressed through outside sales, then he opened a branch and started up a division focused on water works. He took over the business in 1978 upon the death of his father at age 65. His daughter, Karla Neupert Hockley, is director of corporate service for the company, and his son, Kevin Neupert, is manager of plumbing sales at the Portland branch.

"Karl's death represents a terrible loss for our entire industry," said Inge Calderon, executive vice president of ASA. "He was a tremendously strong, but caring person who inspired others toward professional excellence and personal growth. He'll be very much missed."

In addition to his forthright manner and the highly respected position he created for his company in the marketplace, Karl Neupert is perhaps best known for his role in founding the ASA Education Foundation's "Pipeline to the Future" Endowment Fund in 1997, Calderon said. He envisioned a $10 million endowment fund to serve the PHCP wholesale distribution industry for years to come.

"Today, the Endowment Fund has an astounding $9.3 million in pledges from individuals and companies throughout the industry, and at year's end, almost $8 million will already have been received and invested," she said. "It was Karl Neupert's vision to create this endowment fund, and it was he who worked tirelessly and unselfishly to inspire the hundreds of industry leaders to support the fund and the Foundation's initiatives. It is therefore the unanimous decision of the ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees to name the endowment fund after its founder. Henceforth, the ASA Education Foundation looks forward to the future programming and support that will be made possible by the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund."

>> Ronald (Ron) E. Hunt, 71, died Nov. 15 while piloting his 1968 Piper Cherokee 160 airplane. The cause of the crash had not been determined at press time. He began his career in the PHCP industry in 1964 with Genova Products. He worked to gain acceptance and code approvals for CPVC and other types of plastic pipe. He also worked as sales manager for Taylor Plastics, Cantex and Tridyn Industries. In 1979 he opened Ron Hunt & Associates, a manufacturers rep firm, in the Carolinas. Hunt retired and sold the agency to his son, Dan Hunt, and partner, Allen Scott, in 1997. The company now operates as Hydro-Carolinas Marketing. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Donna Hunt, one son, two daughters and one granddaughter. "He prided himself on not calling on customers, but on friends," said Dan Hunt.

>> David J. Sparr, Sr., 57, died Oct. 9 in Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Pa., after a lengthy illness. He was vice president of Sparmon Inc., also known as Sparmon Fischler, a wholesaler based in New Castle. He was a member of the Central Wholesalers Association and the American Supply Association. He served as a deacon and trustee at Wampum Presbyterian Church and was active with missionary work. He was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves, Wampum Lions Club and the Big Beaver Grange, and a former member of the New Beaver Volunteer Fire Department. Survivors include his wife, Barb Rowe Sparr; his mother, Mary Aloe Sparr; his children, David Sparr Jr.; Christina Sparr; Elizabeth Sparr; Catherine and son-in-law Thomas Meade; and his brother, Frank E. Sparr, who is president of Sparmon Inc. Memorials may be made to Wampum Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 86, Wampum, PA; Appalachian Community; or Wampum Area Lions Club.