Still cookin'

SANDUSKY A good bowl of chicken noodle soup feeds the soul. And Howard Nemitz is the cook behi
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

A good bowl of chicken noodle soup feeds the soul.  And Howard Nemitz is the cook behind that soup.

The 93-year-old has helped prepare the Lenten lunches at Presbyterian Church of Sandusky for the past 20 years.

On Friday, he manned two pots full of chicken noodle soup and later served members of the parish -- all while wearing a smile on his face.

"He's the backbone of so much that we do," said the Rev. Kimberly Secrist Ashby. "He's a behind-the-scenes person and doesn't like a whole lot of attention."

Nemitz's generosity and love of cooking earned him an Honorable Mention in the 2007 Sandusky Register Awards.

Nemitz, who retired from Apex as a machinist in 1974, said he enjoys cooking because it keeps him active.

"What keeps you going is activity," Nemitz said. "You got to stay away from the rocking chair."

Nemitz's passion for cooking spans more than six decades.

Before he started cooking Lenten lunches for the church, he was cooking meals at the Masonic Temple in Sandusky for 43 years. Nemitz said he even helps out at home, cooking for his wife of 63 years.

"She watches to make sure I'm doing it right," he said with a chuckle.

"He loves to cook at home," his wife, Ruth, said. "He's a lot of help around the kitchen. It's pretty nice."

Nemitz prepares about six lunches throughout the season, feeding 80-120 people every week.

Ashby said Nemitz's years of service have made him a reliable and crucial member of the church.

"I never have to call Howard," she said. "It's critical because every church needs people who sense ways they can be involved and just do them."

Ashby said Howard's presence is almost taken for granted.

"I firmly believe as long as he's on this Earth, he will be involved in giving," Ashby said. "It's part of his soul."

Nemitz said he wants to continue cooking for the church and perhaps take up baking.

"Unless God thinks differently and fires me," he said, jokingly. "If I'm able, I will."