WARRENSBURG - George R. Nemec - a man who was well-known in the area for his various business accomplishments, generosity, zest for life and community service - was recalled this week by his friends who grieved his passing.
Nemec died April 28 at Glens Falls Hospital of cancer. He was 58.
"This is devastating," said Barbara Combs, who worked with Nemec for years on organizing Warrensburg's annual World's Largest Garage Sale. During the 1990s, Nemec served as president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, and Combs was the event chairwoman.
"George always helped the town out a lot," she continued. "He took so many hours out from his work, and he was on the go from morning to night - He will be missed by many, many people."
Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty recalled Nemec's unselfish service through the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. For years, Nemec had served as Fire Chief of the organization.
"We lost a very good citizen, a staple of our region," Geraghty said. "He gave 100 percent to the fire company as well as the town and the community."
Geraghty recalled the considerable effort Nemec expended on the group's activities, including the Smokeeaters' Jamboree, particularly this event's annual auction.
"We had a lot of good times with George, that's for sure," Geraghty continued.
Local funeral director John Alexander recalled George Nemec's business acumen, his considerable generosity, and his community work.
"George Nemec was as big as life, and he will be hugely missed," Alexander said. "George was always working - not only to provide for his family, but for the benefit of the entire community."
Alexander regularly buys deer feed and firearms at Nemec's Sport Shop and Farm & Garden Center in uptown Warrensburg.
"George built up Nemec's which is an integral part of our town and its Adirondack tradition," Alexander added.
The Nemec family founded this enterprise, and George Nemec joined it in 1985, expanding it with the help of his wife Nancy and son Chris into the popular, prosperous enterprise it is today.
Earlier in his career, George Nemec worked for Stewart's Ice Cream, and before that, Curtis Lumber in Warrensburg. He was a 1969 graduate of Warrensburg High School.
Through his work building up Nemec's Sport Shop, George Nemec provided jobs for many people and boosted the local economy by spending as much of the firm's money locally as possible.
His business expertise and diligent work earned him the deep respect of both community leaders and regular folks alike. He was also known to inspire others to be industrious, and to be generous to those less fortunate.
Alexander Funeral Home hosted a capacity crowd Sunday for Nemec's calling hours. The afternoon included a poignant, full-dress tribute from the members of the Warrensburg Volunteer Fire Co. His funeral Monday also hosted a capacity crowd.
This week, dozens and dozens of people signed his online guestbook at www.alexanderfh.net, extolling his character.
Many noted George Nemec's generous nature, and how he'd donate spontaneously - without fanfare - to worthy causes and people in need.
"George treated people with honor and compassion," James Derby of Diamond Point said in the guestbook. "Always willing to help others, a kind and generous man, George will be truly missed by all that knew him well."
Crystal Collier of Warrensburg, of North Country Wild Care, also praised his generosity.
"George was an amazing man - he's touched so many people in his lifetime in a lot of ways," she said. "He's established a legacy that will last forever."