Cancer, a disease he battled for eight years, has taken the life of Lou Spano Sr., one of the most respected members of the floor covering industry.

In 1955, Lou launched a successful retail operation, known today as Eldorado Carpet One. In 1996, the business passed to his sons Lou Jr. and Bob. However, the family patriarch continued to play an active role in the Broomall, Pa.-based operation.

Lou was a leader of local, national and regional floor covering associations. He was a founder, president and board member of the American Floor Covering Association (now the World Floor Covering Association) and president of the Floor Covering Association of Greater Philadelphia for an unbeatable record number of years. He served several terms on the board of the WFCA and, at the time of his death, was on the WFCA Past Presidents Council.

Lou was one of those unique individuals who rarely come long in an industry -- people who work tirelessly to succeed in the business and still dedicate time to the betterment of the industry and its people. Lou set a mark worthy of being followed by everyone. The term "A Legend" is a truly appropriate description of Lou Spano.

Those of us to whom Lou granted his friendship consider ourselves blessed.