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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Attorney showed concern for others

Nathan Greenberg, 87, a longtime city of Toledo assistant law director who still had a law practice, died July 27 in Toledo Hospital from complications of a stroke.

Mr. Greenberg, of West Toledo, retired in 1982 after more than 22 years in the law department. He practiced law from his home and had several clients.

"He just pushed and pushed," his son-in-law David Mortemore said. "It was his great brain stimulation. That's what made him happy - to keep helping people."

Mr. Greenberg was appointed an assistant law director in 1959 by then-Law Director Charles Lawton.

One of his responsibilities was to be legal adviser to the public utilities department and to negotiate the water and sewer contracts between Toledo and suburbs.

"He was very committed to the law department for many, many years," said Sheldon Rosen, law director from 1981 to 1990, who joined the law department staff in 1969. "He was very proud that he was a member of the department, and always considered the honor of service to the public as important."

Mr. Greenberg had some influence on Mr. Rosen's hiring by then-Law Director Louis R. Young, Mr. Rosen believes.

"He basically picked up Louie and drove him back and forth to work. He had talked to Louie and said, 'Here is a young guy you might want to talk to.' In those days, that was an entree," said Mr. Rosen, retired executive director of Monroe County's Community Mental Health agency.

Mr. Greenberg continued his private practice during his tenure as an assistant law director.

Melvin Resnick, retired judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals, became a lawyer and met Mr. Greenberg in 1952, and "eventually we became pretty good friends.

"He was a conscientious lawyer, I know that. He was one of the better ones," Mr. Resnick said. "He was just one great guy."

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick added: "He was very warm and concerned about other people."

Mr. Greenberg was a graduate of Scott High School. He was a 1939 graduate of the University of Toledo, from which he received his law degree in 1942. He entered the Army that year and was a captain in the military police. He was officer in charge of a section of the criminal investigation division in the European Theater during World War II.

Surviving are his wife, Idele, whom he married Aug. 11, 1943; son, David; daughters, Sherry Mortemore and Amy Meier, and two grandsons.

Private memorial services were held in Toledo and Scottsdale, Ariz. Arrangements are by the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Mortuary. The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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