Ed Warmack had a diversified occupation class at Piedmont High School. Back then, it was simply called DO, which meant a student could attend school half a day and work the other half.
Warmack’s job was at Johnson Dry Cleaners in Piedmont. Warmack had no way of knowing that he would work the rest of his life in the dry cleaning business.
After he and Bobbye Murray married, they worked together at a dry cleaners in the county. After it went out of business, they bought Nu-Kleen Cleaners in Jacksonville, which had been closed for a while, from Ed’s sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Dewitt Doss.
“We decided we’d buy it, and we brought in all the new equipment we’d need to open it back up,” said Bobbye.
They recently celebrated their 47th year at Nu-Kleen. The Warmacks, including their son and grandson, Doug and Kyle, along with their three employees, celebrated the occasion quietly.
“We’re saving the big celebration for our 50th year,” said Bobbye.
Ed’s sister, Mary Burns, has worked with them for 26 years. Brandy Roberts and Anthony Wade also work there.
“We all interchange with all the jobs,” said Bobbye. “All of us can do just about all of the jobs here.”
Bobbye said she’s proud of her employees.
“They’re very dependable,” she said. “They’re excellent workers and friends. They’re always here when we need them. We want to thank them and all of our former employees for being here to help make us a success.”
In addition to dry cleaning, Nu-Kleen offers wedding gown preservation, shirt laundering, laundering of household items including comforters, draperies and tablecloths and altering. Bobbye does the altering.
The Warmacks say they’re proud of the fact that Nu-Kleen has been in the hands of three generations of their family.
“Doug works with us in here, and so does Kyle,” said Bobbye. “Kyle has another job in the real estate business, but he’s in here a lot.”
Bobbye said she and Ed are also happy to have served three generations.
“We have customers from all over the county, even some from Birmingham,” said Bobbye. “They come to us from Piedmont, Anniston and other areas. We’ve served grandparents whose grandchildren are coming to us now.”
The Warmacks are members of Cedar Springs Baptist Church where Ed is a deacon and Bobbye plays the organ. They will be married 60 years in December.
Both have had health problems. Five years ago, Ed had a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery. Bobbye has had cancer twice. It started in her breast and metastasized to her bones. She’s currently in remission.
“I’ve been a survivor twice,” said Bobbye. “God has blessed me to allow me to continue my work and to live. The first time I had it was seven years ago. Five years ago, it returned. I live with it all the time, but with God’s blessings and the prayers of many people, I’m doing good.”
Nu-Kleen is located at 209 Francis St. E. It’s open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m.-5:30 and Saturday from 7-3. It’s closed on Wednesday.
“We’ve worked hard to get a good reputation,” said Bobbye. “We thank our customers for these past 47 years. Without them and without God, we wouldn’t be here. We’ve enjoyed it down through the years. Our customers have become our friends.”
(Contact Margaret at pollya922.gmail.com)