Homer B. Wheeler, a highly respected veteran of the flooring business for more than 50 years who was affectionately known as the “Pad King,” died recently of unspecified causes. He was 99.
Wheeler started his floor covering career in the New York/New Jersey market with O.F. Rubrecht Co. as a territory salesman for the Congoleum line. He and his family moved to Orlando, Fla. in 1957 to become branch manager and salesman for the F.T. Kelly Co. It was during his 18 years at Kelly that Wheeler became well-known selling Congoleum, Magee Carpet and carpet cushion. In 1975 he started his own distribution company known today as Wheeler Inc. His devotion to the cushion business earned him the nickname Pad King. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Norma, his son Scott and daughter Bonnie. Scott and Bonnie continue to own and operate Wheeler Inc.
Howard Manis, floor covering industry innovator who is credited with developing distribution system used for installation supplies, died Sept. 9 at his home in Bradenton, Fla. Manis was a pioneer and innovator in the modern-day distribution of the installation supplies segment of the industry. Howard co-founded the Southland Flooring Supplies chain almost 40 years ago in Kentucky and Ohio and later founded the Quality Flooring Supplies chain in Florida. His colleagues in the industry said they will truly miss Manis, calling him a special and treasured friend.
November 1, 2006