Harry Schemer, 83, chairman of Universal-Southern Corp., a Jacksonville, Fla.-based PVF master distributor, died Feb. 14 after a battle with cancer. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, Schemer returned to his hometown of Jacksonville to work for a PVF wholesaler. In 1973 he bought the name Universal-Southern Corp. and started his own PVF wholesaling business, serving as its president. In 2004 he took the title of chairman and one of his sons, Hal Schemer, became the president. Another son, Marty Schemer, serves as secretary/treasurer. “Harry was a unique individual,” said Dave Sleap, vice president. “He was a quiet, unassuming man who loved the business. He was here all the time. He was most comfortable behind his desk.” Although he was not a member of any industry associations, he was always willing to help or provide advice when asked, Sleap said. His business philosophy led him to treat everyone, customers and vendors, with respect. “In the South, people do business with people,” Sleap said. “You wouldn't hear someone say, 'We need some pipe fittings, let's call Universal-Southern.' They would say, 'Let's call Harry.' He epitomized that way of doing business. He continued to work for the company even after he became ill. Those who knew him can't say enough about him.” Harry became a friend and advisor to nearly all those with whom he came in contact during his nearly 60 years in the industry, the officers, directors and employees of the company said in a statement. “We at Universal-Southern pledge to strive and continue to do business with the care and concern for our customers and vendors that Harry always exhibited.”