William M. Hamm Jr., past president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and formerly of Berg, Inc., in Shreveport, La., passed away Dec. 16 after a long illness.

According to MCAA, “Mr. Hamm dedicated many years of service to the association.” He was appointed to the board of directors in 1975 and served as the association’s president in 1982.

Memorials may be sent to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126-4858, or to the Broadmoor Baptist Church Building Fund at 4110 Youree Dr., Shreveport, LA 71105.


Karl E. Neupert, 62, president and CEO of Consolidated Supply in Portland, Ore., died Dec. 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Neupert played a key role in founding the American Supply Association’s (ASA’s) Education Foundation “Pipeline to the Future” Endowment Fund in 1997. According to the ASA, he envisioned a $10 million endowment fund to serve the PCHP wholesale-distribution industry.

To honor Mr. Neupert posthumously, the association’s Education Foundation Board of Trustees has decided to name the Endowment Fund after its founder: the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund.

The family has requested that donations be made to the ASA Education Foundation, the Hearing and Speech Institute of Oregon, or to a church or synagogue of your choice.


Eugene R. Ott and his son, Vincent Ott, died late last November after their experimental aircraft spiraled into Lake Moultrie, NC. According to reports from The Post and Courier, the plane went down in about 50 feet of water in one of the deepest parts of the lake.

Eugene Ott was senior partner in Sing Heating Co., and often appeared in the company’s TV commercials.

According to North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, “He’s going to be sadly missed. He’s the type of person you just don’t replace.”

Mr. Ott sat on North Charleston’s first City Council. Most recently, he served on the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority, and held a seat on Charleston Southern University’s board.

Mr. Ott went to work for his father’s company, Sing Oil Co., after he was discharged from the Army in 1954. He drove an oil truck in the winter and kept the books in the summer. His father and uncle sold him the company when he was 27.


Tom Whalen, president of Advance Mechanical Systems, Mount Prospect, Ill., passed away on Dec. 18.

Mr. Whalen was a member of the Joint Apprentice Committee of Local 501 and a member of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)/Plumbing Contractors of America’s board of directors.

Surviving him are his wife Lola and children Tom, Scott, Tracey, and Carissa.

Publication date: 01/13/2003