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Nemecs celebrate 45 years in business

Ernie’s Building Center owners Ernie and Laurel Nemec will be celebrating the business 45th anniversary on Saturday, October 2. The Nemecs will be serving a free lunch during the customer appreciation open house.

From a start-up undertaking for high school sweethearts and newlyweds, the business has grown and changed to now serve customers in a 125 mile radius of Midland. Three generations have worked there, with son Randy Nemec growing up in the business and now being indispensible; thus the name of Ernest D. Nemec and Son Construction.

Despite some people’s pessimism, Ernest started the lumber yard and bought the hardware operation in town. He wanted to do something besides farm, and he liked to build. He was raised on a ranch 8 miles north of Midland and Laurel was born in a house just a few blocks from the building center.

Edwin and Bernice May, a local couple who helped many families, loaned the Nemecs the start-up money. It was considered a big risk. Ernie admitted, “To run a business in a small town, you have to run a lot of hours and do honest business.” Laurel added, “Not that we don’t make mistakes, but we make them right as fast and as best we can.”

Ernie said, “There have been some drastic changes in what we sell and what we do. You have to switch over and keep moving forward or you go stale. Who would have thought we would ever build a house worth over $750,000 when the first house we built was $12,500 in 1960?” Laurel agrees that, “Every day is different.”

The two continually give credit to others. Tavis Pauly, Casey Doud and Tom Parquet work for them full-time to seasonally. Bob and Verona Evans will be helping with the barbecue. All five of the Nemec children and some of the nine grandchildren have worked at the business. Almost all of the relatives will be at the celebration.

The Nemecs return some of the community’s support through service over the years. Ernie has been on the school board, chaired the Second Century Development group, and been treasurer for the Midland Community Foundation.

Business-wise, Ernie is proud that all the equipment is owned rather than rented, and that the selection and quantity of inventory is so large.

Personally, Ernie and Laurel are proud of their family and the people in the community. The anniversary celebration is just a part of the thank you for the people around them.