Mr. Henry P. Nemenz Sr., a longtime Ohio groceryman, died Friday, June 12, at age 76. He was surrounded by his family at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown.
Mr. Nemenz was born in Salem on Nov. 12, 1938, the third child of Gustav and Anna (Schneider) Nemenz. He graduated from North Lima High School in 1956, and then attended Mount Union College.
Mr. Nemenz’s father, Gustav, established the first Nemenz Store in 1930, during the Great Depression. In 1956, Mr. Nemenz began working in the family business as a meat cutter. In 1976, he opened his first store, Nemenz Valu King, in Boardman. Over the years, he built and remodeled numerous grocery stores in the area. At the time of his death, Mr. Nemenz was president and CEO of H.P. Nemenz Food Stores Inc. and was the owner of two IGA Supercenter stores and several Save-A-Lot stores. He taught his children well, and through his dedication and perseverance, the family tradition will continue, as they are all in the Nemenz IGA and Save-A-Lot grocery business.
Mr. Nemenz served on the board of the Youngstown Grocers Association and previously on the Ohio Grocers Association and was a member of the National Grocers Association. He was named to the Ohio Grocers Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the Ohio Grocers Pinnacle Award in 2012.
“He will be missed by all, but his legacy will live on throughout Ohio and the communities that he served,” said Nate Filler, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association. “I personally thank Henry for his wisdom, guidance and leadership at the Ohio Grocers Association.”
Mr. Nemenz was a member and past president of the Poland Rotary Club, where he was past chairman of the annual Chili Open Golf Classic. Poland Rotary honored Mr. Nemenz with the Paul Harris Fellow. Henry was past chairman of the American Cancer Society, past co-chairman of the Celebrity Celebration for the Heart Association, past member of the board of the Millcreek Learning Center, Hospice of the Valley, First Federal Savings Bank of Youngstown, the Mahoning Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Youngstown State University Penguin Club.
For his contributions, Mr. Nemenz received the Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1987; was named Citizen of the Year in 1989 and Outstanding Individual Philanthropist in 1992; received the Mahoning Valley Fabulous 20 Award in 1994, Channel 33 Entrepreneur Award in 2004 and the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Person of the Year, in 2008; and received the H.O.P.E. Award in 2014 and the St. Vincent DePaul, Presidents Award for Outstanding Service, in 2015.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Nemenz was preceded in death by his brother, Frederick Nemenz; sister, Elizabeth Flohr; and one grandchild, Casey Nemenz.
He is survived by three daughters, Judy (Don) Gabriele of Poland, Elaine (John) Kawecki of Salem and Joyce (Chris) Herubin of Salem; one son, Henry P. (Sheree) Nemenz Jr. of Poland; one brother, Gustav A. (Theresa) Nemenz of North Lima; and 10 grandchildren, Alexander, Emily and Matthew Gabriele, Abby and Ethan Kawecki, Lauren, Christopher and Cortney Herubin and Henry T. and Kaylee Nemenz.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Good Hope Lutheran Church in North Lima, with Pastor Ralph Edwards officiating. Interment will follow at Oakdale Cemetery in Leetonia.
Because Mr. Nemenz was so charitable to many organizations, his family requests contributions be made to the donor’s favorite charity.