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St. Anthony of Padua Parish
Friday March 18th, 2022

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Gustalo "Gus" Nunez

The Honorable Gustalo “Gus” Nunez, age 87, of Lorain, passed away on Monday, March 14, 2022, at Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital in Avon, Ohio

The son of Elena Nunez, Gus was born on October 17, 1934, in Lorain, Ohio. He attended Lorain schools and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1952.  A dedicated and hard-worker, Gus began by shining shoes at the age of eight.  By age 10 he worked at Andorka Lanes as a pin boy for several years and then at age 16 he began working summers at the Nickel Plate Railroad as a “gandy dancer”.  While in high school, Gus worked nights at the American Stove Works where he would give half of his paychecks to his mother for household expenses.  During this time, he also joined the Navy Reserves.  Following graduation, he went on to work at National Tube until joining the U.S. Army in 1954 where he was stationed in Germany for 17 months as a radio operator.  Gus attended Ohio University, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering in 1961.  That same year he started working for Ohio Edison and married Karen Hetsler.

In 1962, Gus attended law school at Akron School of Law and upon passing the bar exam, he and his family moved from Monroe Falls to Falls Church, Virginia to work for the U.S Patent Office for two years and then for Wright Patterson Air Force Base for a year.  He returned to Lorain to practice as a patent attorney and was also assistant prosecutor for the City of Lorain.  Gus was very proud to be elected the first Hispanic judge in Lorain County and third in the state of Ohio, serving the position of judge in the Lorain Municipal Court for 12 years.  Upon retirement he served as a visiting judge in Medina, Milan, Toledo, Lyndhurst and Lorain.

He was a member St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Lorain, Toast Masters International and served as a life member of the VFW, Lorain American Legion and Lorain AMVETS.  He was also a longtime member of the former Twin Cities Kiwanis Club and the recipient of the Distinguished Mexican American Achievement award from the Mexican Mutual Society of Lorain.

He was an avid golfer and bowler and for the past many years could be found riding his bicycle on East Erie road and North Coast Inland Trail.

Surviving is his daughter, Nancy (Mike) Clark of Sandusky, Ohio; son, Dr. Timothy (Jill) Nunez of San Antonio, Texas; grandchildren, Katie, Lexie, Jake; brother, Louis (Theresa); sisters, Becky (Jim) Wilson, Elena (William) Rehman; as well as caretaker and longtime companion, Pat Zaleski.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Karen (nee Hetsler) Nunez in 2014; mother, Elena Nunez; and brothers, Marty, Chuck, Roy, Dan, Mike and Rudy.

Mass will be held Friday, March 18th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 1305 E. Erie Ave, Lorain.  Rev. Edward Smith will officiate.  Private burial with military honors will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Lorain.  The Dovin Funeral and Cremations Specialists, Lorain is handling the arrangements.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Gus’s honor can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 74924, Cleveland, OH 44194-4924.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gustalo Nunez, please visit our flower store.


A candle was lit in memory of Gustalo Nunez

Sharon Kopronica Mar 21 2022 10:24 AM

Gus was an invaluable member of the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness. His contribution to the Commission's work was immeasurable. More than that, he was a good friend and colleague. As a municipal court judge, I enjoyed hanging out with him when we had a chance to get together during judicial conferences. I will miss seeing his ever-smiling face and his kind words of welcome! I extend my deepest condolences to his family and other friends.
Judge Ronald B. Adrine (ret.), Chair, Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness 1993-1999

Ronald B. Adrine Mar 16 2022 7:34 PM

Such a nice person; a life well lived. Sympathies to the family for the loss. He will be missed. Judge John M. Nicholson Cambridge. Ohio

John Nicholson Mar 16 2022 3:33 PM

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Nunez family. His was a wonderful man

The Guzman and Ramirez family Mar 16 2022 8:00 AM