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Man puts in 44 years at Statton Furniture

January 05, 1999

Lee NunamakerBy MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




After 44 years as a machine operator at Statton Furniture, Lee Nunamaker retired Monday.

Nunamaker said that over the years, he learned a healthy respect for the machinery, knowing full well how dangerous one little slip could be.

In addition to running the equipment, the operator is responsible for keeping the machine well greased and oiled so it runs at the top of its performance, he said.

"I came here right after high school graduation in 1954," said Nunamaker, 62, of Keedysville. "A friend was a foreman here then and he got me a job."

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Nunamaker's father had worked at Statton on First Street for more than 20 years. And the connection continued when Nunamaker met his wife-to-be while she was working there.

Co-workers gave Nunamaker a send-off Monday, getting him a cake and a unique gift.

"They painted up a rip saw blade with my name, the date I started working and the date I retired," Nunamaker said.

The rip saw operation was Nunamaker's specialty for 35 of his years at Statton.

"I always know what kind of piece of furniture I'm cutting wood for because there is a ticket with every job," Nunamaker said.

For the past few weeks, Nunamaker has been training his successor. "It's been a good place to work," he said. "I have been here under three generations of the Statton family."

Now Nunamaker and his wife, Celia, want to do some traveling. "I think we'll be going out west," he said.

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