Longtime industry member David Scheideman died last month just weeks before he planned to move his pool supply store to a larger location. He was 69.

Dave, as he was known, got his start in the industry working for Penguin Pools in Wichita, Kan. In 1984, he opened Dave’s Pool Store in a Wichita strip mall, and in the early 2000s purchased a piece of land with the intention of building a new facility. Scheideman had broken ground shortly before his death, and was looking forward to having more room to display aboveground pools.

His son, Brian Scheideman, will bring his father’s vision of a 4,900-square-foot retail store and warehouse to fruition.

“It’s been a dream of his forever to own his own building,” said Brian. “And the plan all along, for me to take over the business.”

Yet, the timing was unforeseen.

“Not only did I inherit a business overnight, but I’m also dealing with the death of my father,” he said, adding that he’s sending out letters to customers asking for a chance to prove himself.

Signing his first round of payroll checks struck him with the profound realization that he’s in charge now. Though Brian’s been working for his father since he was 16, there is still much to learn, he said. Fortunately, customers are being gracious. “That’s partly due to how much they loved and respected my father,” he said.

The week before his father’s death, Brian filled an entire legal pad with ideas he had for the business. “I never had the chance to share those with him,” he said, “and that’s hard to swallow.”

Scheideman was active in local pool and spa associations, and colleagues considered him a strong supporter of the industry. Customers and suppliers remember him as professional and courteous.

“He really took good care of his customers,” said Ken Garrett, owner of Garret Liners in Fallsington, Penn., a supplier of Dave’s Pool store for about 30 years. “He was an all-around decent person, very respected.”

He also was something of a joker. Former employee Tammy Orr shared on an online message board about a time she was chewed out by an angry customer on the phone. When she told her boss about the call, he said “I know, and you handled it very well, Tammy!” Turned out, he was the one who made the call.

Scheideman was riding his motorcycle westbound on U.S. 400 in Butler County when a vehicle crossed into his path, according to the Wichita Eagle. He was pronounced dead on Sunday, Sept. 22.

He is survived by his wife, Teddi Shelden, his children, Brian and Anita Lindsted, and seven siblings.