Local attorney Melvin G. Nusbaum, age 79, of Sylvania, died on May 23, 2013, at the Ebeid Hospice Center.
Born in Toledo to Louis J. and Sarah Nusbaum, Mel graduated from DeVilbiss High School, the Ohio State University, and The Ohio State College of Law before beginning his practice in family law in The Spitzer Building. He was a founder and partner in the firm Lackey, Nusbaum, Harris, Reny and Torzewski with whom he practiced for over 30 years. He then finished his career back at The Spitzer Building with Jerry Phillips, Sheldon Wittenberg and his son, James Nusbaum. Mel served as president of the Toledo Bar Association. He received the Distinguished Lawyer of the Year award from the University of Toledo College of Law and was the only Northwest Ohio lawyer invited to join the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mel was very devoted to his career and a professional at the highest level. He had an unbelievable work ethic which he learned as a youngster while working at his family's business, the White Hut Restaurants. He carried this dedication to his law practice and gave each of his clients his undivided attention. He set a wonderful example for his three children who followed his work ethic in their chosen careers.
Mel was president of the Jewish Community Center at the time of the opening of the Sylvania Campus. He later was inducted into the Jewish Community Center Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a past member of the Board of Directors of Riverside Hospital and the YMCA. He was a member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity during his undergraduate years, and in law school was inducted into Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, whose members were chosen on the basis of scholarship and quality character traits.
Very much a people person, Mel was a great story teller--many based on true stories of things he did while growing up and of course stories that involved his relationships with his very close friends of many years. Although he had no siblings, he considered some of these men like brothers. Over the years he made many friends, all of whom were very special to him. One of the things he most looked forward to six days a week was his early morning downtown breakfasts with a group of lawyers. They discussed everything from trivia, the stock market, world events, and of course there was an exchange of friendly bantering and making fun of each other.
Basketball was one of his favorite pastimes, whether as a participant (when he was young), a coach, or a spectator. He spent many hours coaching young boys at the JCC, including his son Mike. Many of those young boys, now grown men, still greeted Mel with "Hi Coach". He always believed that children should be involved in some kind of sports. Not only did it teach discipline, but provided lessons in fair play, working with others, and learning that it is important to know how to lose sometimes as well as enjoying the glory of winning. His three children all actively participated in one or more sports during their school years. He was present at every meet or game as either an assistant coach or noisy spectator. As Mel grew older, playing golf on Sundays with a group of good friends was the only sport he participated in. He was a pretty good golfer and was all smiles if he won a dollar or two from the other men.
The presence of grandchildren in his life brought him great pleasure as a "Loving Papa". They could always bring a smile to his face, even throughout his final days.
He was a devoted husband to his wife Jackie of almost 57 years. He said the following at his 70th birthday party when he spoke of his life up to that point "Most important-a wife, like Jackie, who: buys your shoes, clothes, etc.; conducts your social life; tells you what to wear; prescribes medication; and makes your whole life a wonderful event." Perhaps being a divorce lawyer made him realize more than most the value of a good marriage. His family and friends have learned from him the precious value of a good and loyal friend, a loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle.
Preceded in death by his parents, Mel is survived by his wife, Jackie; daughter, Lynn Nusbaum; sons, Michael Nusbaum (Karri) and James Nusbaum (Sherri); grandchildren, Hayley Baumhower (Justin), Lauren Flaum, Danny Nusbaum, Marnie Nusbaum and Carly Nusbaum; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Adele and Bob Himler; sister-in-law, Cherie Wilk; special niece, Karen Wilk and special nephew, Larry Wilk.
Services will be held on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at Temple Shomer Emunim, 6453 Sylvania Ave., in Sylvania. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. The family will observe Shivah and receive friends at the home of James and Sherri Nusbaum. For those planning a memorial contribution, the family suggests The Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim.
The Nusbaum family expresses unending gratitude to Dr. Susan Federman who took loving care of her Uncle Mel. His caregiver Nettie brought a smile to his face each day and provided great comfort and care to him. They are also appreciative of the excellent care given to Mel at Ebeid Hospice. Services provided by Walker Funeral Home, 419-841-2422. Online condolences may be offered at
Published in Toledo Blade from May 24 to May 25, 2013