Dave Nemacheck was surrounded by his family when he passed away on Tuesday, August 13 as a result of ongoing illness, including prostate cancer. Dave was born to Walter & Ethel Nemacheck in Bessemer Michigan on February 26, 1942. He graduated as valedictorian from A.D. Johnston High School in 1960. He was a proud Bessemer Speedboy, playing on Bessemer’s basketball, tennis, and baseball teams over the years. Dave pursued his college education at the University of Michigan and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business in 1964 and an MBA in 1965. While at the University of Michigan, he met and married Barbara (Smith), who preceded him in death. Dave and Barb moved to Gladstone in 1970. Since that time Dave had been an active member of the Gladstone, Escanaba, and wider Delta County community.
Dave was a natural entrepreneur and lived by the mantra of “finding a niche” and “filling a void.” After obtaining his MBA, Dave began work in Sears’ management training program in Milwaukee and then moved to Dearborn Heights to work in dealer development at Ford Motors. When Dave and Barbara moved to Gladstone, he joined his uncle in running the Northern Motors Ford dealership in Escanaba. In 1984 Dave, along with his close friend and business partner, Tom Butch, bought Heynssens-Selin’s Furniture & Flooring store in Escanaba, a business Dave ran until he sold it in 2008.
Dave was a man of principle and faith; he gave generously of his time and gifts to his community. Upon moving to Gladstone, Dave and Barb joined Memorial United Methodist Church; up until his death, Dave remained active in the church through leadership roles too numerous to mention. Dave’s contributions to the church included the land on which the church now sits and leadership on many financial campaigns. Dave was active in so many other local government, Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer organizations that we are unable to capture all of them here. But, in addition to Memorial United Methodist, he was particularly active in the Salvation Army, the YMCA, Bay College, and in his retirement, he served on the Gladstone City Commission. Dave was also a long-time member and past president of the Escanaba Kiwanis Club and the Gladstone Lions Club. Through Northern Motors and Heynssens-Selin’s he also regularly sponsored local baseball and softball teams.
While Dave achieved success in business and contributed to his community, he valued his family above all else. Dave and Barb had three daughters and provided them with wonderful childhoods and excellent examples of the importance of community and service. Even as he worked long hours on his business ventures, Dave never missed his daughters’ softball or basketball games, or track meets. Basketball referees were known to remind him to hold his opinion on their calls from time to time, but his daughters always knew he was in the stands and that they had his full support.
In addition to his work, volunteer activities and family, Dave enjoyed talking with anyone and everyone he ever met, travelling the United States by whichever van or motor home he drove at the time, University of Michigan football and basketball, and the Detroit Tigers. Although there were many seasons when he suffered with Michigan’s bowl upsets and losses at the old Tiger Stadium on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, he reveled in their victories like few others. He even managed to wrangle seats for he and one of his daughters for games 3 and 5 of the 1984 World Series; a highlight for both of them.
Several years after Barbara died, Dave married Linda Lanasa, who was a great companion and comfort to him in the last few years of his life. Dave is survived by Linda and his three daughters and their families: Debbie and Tim Johnson, Chris Nemacheck, and Sherri and Mike Doberstein. He was particularly close with his grandchildren including Joshua Biocic, Matthew Melcher, Grace Biocic, and Sarah Melcher, as well as Noah, Paige and Tess Johnson, and Matthew and Danny Doberstein. Dave’s beloved wife of 48 years, Barbara (Smith) Nemacheck, and his parents Walter and Ethel preceded him in death. He was very close with his two brothers and their families (Fred & Nancy Nemacheck and Bill & Patti Nemacheck), as well as his very special in-laws (Diane & Bob Butler and Mary & Weldon Mosely). He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews, many cousins, and many close friends.
Dave’s family will celebrate his life on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. The family will receive friends from noon until 2:00 PM, at which time Pastor Cathy Rafferty will officiate the memorial service. A reception will follow in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Salvation Army of Escanaba, the Barbara Nemacheck Nursing Scholarship at Bay College, or the Memorial United Methodist Church. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Nemacheck family.