Carlos A. Córdova, a retired lawyer and former Perrysburg councilman who helped shape its government as it became a city, died Monday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 90.
His daughter, Carmen Córdova, said she didn't know the cause of death. He had been a patient in hospice for about a week.
A native of Ecuador, where his father served briefly as president, Mr. Córdova came to the United States in 1941 as an exchange student, attending Bowling Green State University.
He received his law degree in 1950 and set up practice in Perrysburg. He became a two-term village councilman, and was among community leaders who drafted the municipal charter in 1960 after Perrysburg became a city.
A Democrat, he was elected council president by his peers. He left council in 1960 when he failed to win re-election.
Ms. Córdova said her father was successful in extending utilities to Perrysburg Heights, and was instrumental in getting Perrysburg's municipal sewage plant and Municipal Court established, and developing the city's master plan.
Former Mayor and Councilman Martha Baldoni said his efforts on the sewer system were unpopular with some because of property tax assessments that came with it. "He was very upset with people who would rather have a car in their driveway than pay for sewers," she said. "But he always aimed for the greater good."
He was admitted to the bar in 1950 and practiced law in the community for nearly 50 years, his daughter said. His first law office was on Louisiana Avenue and he later moved the practice to Second and Elm streets. He served as an acting judge in municipal court in the 1960s.
In 1989, Mr. Córdova received the Key to the Golden Door award from the International Institute of Greater Toledo for his service to the community and his contributions to his professional field.
He assisted in development of the Elm House and Louisiana House, federally subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled that opened in 1966 and 1981, respectively.
Mr. Córdova was on the board of Perrysburg Ecumenical Housing Inc., a nonprofit group representing churches that obtained federal money for the housing projects.
"He worked so hard for those who were not equipped economically, financially, or socially. They had to be equal. He really believed it with a passion," Mrs. Baldoni said.
He was born in Cuenca, Ecuador, to Rosario and Andres Córdova, an attorney and lawyer at the University of Cuenca. His father became president after the death of President Aurelio Mosquera.
He came to Bowling Green at the suggestion of the U.S. minister to Ecuador, who said it would allow Mr. Córdova to really see what American life was like, his daughter said.
He worked his way through college shoveling coal into stokers at a campus boiler room. While at BGSU, he met the former Constance Zachman, a Perrysburg native; they married March 1, 1944.
Three years into college, he enlisted into the U.S. Army, keeping the rank private first class throughout his enlistment because he wasn't a U.S.-born citizen. A member of the First Infantry Division, known as the "Big Red One," he landed in France on June 6, 1944, in the invasion of Normandy.
Ms. Córdova said her father was one of six soldiers out of 45 in his platoon to survive D-Day. He went to England as part of the armed forces invasion of Normandy. He was shot twice in the face by a sniper in action near Stolberg, Germany, in October, 1944, and was sent to a military hospital in Alabama to recover.
For his injuries, he received two Purple Hearts.
After the war, he enrolled in law school at the University of Toledo, graduating in 1949.
He was a past chairman of the Wood County Democratic Party and served as an Ohio delegate at the political conventions to nominate John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Mrs. Baldoni said Mr. Córdova was well versed in both national and global politics and sought out by those who wanted to stay informed.
His wife, Constance, who was a longtime Head Start teacher, died July 6, 2011.
Surviving are his son, Carlos; daughters, Carmen Córdova, Cristina Córdova, and Collette Córdova and Cecilia Richardson; sisters, Lucrecia Neustatter, Victoria Sandoval, Rosario Córdova, and Matilde Córdova; eight grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, where a memorial service will be the following day at 11 a.m.
The family suggests tributes to the American Civil Liberties Union, Alzheimer's Association, Wood County Committee on Aging, or Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.