Herman Mainwold [1923-2013]; Remodeler known as a stickler for detail


Herman Mainwold, 90, whose reputation for quality attracted clients to the remodeling business he and his late brother Raymond owned, died Tuesday in Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania.

Mr. Mainwold of Ottawa Hills had two strokes in October, and doctors found in November that he had lung cancer, daughter Susan said.

He was president of Mainline Construction Co., which became Mainline Kitchen & Bath Design, and his brother was vice president, but aside from the titles, they were equal, Mr. Mainwold told The Blade last year.

The brothers closed the business and retired in 2003 after 51 years. Mainline started as a general remodeling contracting business, and Mr. Mainwold was president in 1960 of the newly formed Home Improvement Contractors Association. Kitchens and bathrooms became a specialty by chance.

“We sort of walked into it,” Mr. Mainwold told The Blade in 1991. “People asked us to design kitchens and baths.”

The company was featured in a kitchen trade journal, and the brothers opened a showroom on Bancroft Street featuring the latest in fixtures, cabinets, and appliances. Home builders sought them out. And their work caught the attention of what became a high-end clientele, one exquisite kitchen at a time.

“We would do one job for some people we knew,” Mr. Mainwold told The Blade last year. “A lot of their friends would see what we did and call us. It would build up that way.”

He drew the plans for remodeling jobs, as did his brother, and he visited work sites most days of the week.

“He was a stickler for not cutting corners and making sure everything was done according to spec,” daughter Susan said.

That could make for long days. “If something wasn't right, he stayed up, he made phone calls and contacted the plumbers or electrician, the suppliers,” his daughter Lisa said. “It was the customer satisfaction that kept him at it.”

Born on May 19, 1923, to Anna and Max Mainwold, he was a graduate of Scott High School and in World War II was a Navy fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater. Afterward, he resumed studies at the University of Toledo, graduating in 1948 with the aim of studying medicine. He and his brother Raymond had to support their mother and younger brother after their father died.

He sold shoes and had a television rental business for a time. He went door to door as a salesman for a home improvement and siding business before he began his own company.

A longtime golfer, after retirement he also became proficient at computer programs that crop and color- correct photos.

He married the former Nanette V. “Nan” Linder on May 13, 1948. She died July 1.

Surviving are his daughters, Susan Johnson and Melissa “Lisa” Emhoff, and two grandchildren. His brother Raymond died Aug. 15, 2012.

Services will be at 1 p.m. today in the Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Robert H. Wick/​Wisniewski Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to the Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.