Robert Nault, a retired police officer who served in Woodville, Northwood, and Luckey, died in his sleep Wednesday at the Parkcliffe Community in Northwood. He was 81.
He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had been at the assisted-living community since June, his son Wayne said.
Mr. Nault’s most recent job was as chief of the Luckey Police Department but he spent the bulk of his career working in the Northwood Police Department.
“He loved being a police officer. He found his calling. He really tried to help people. He was in it for the right reason,” his son said.
Born May 5, 1932, in Escanaba on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Noel and Adelaide Nault, he was one of eight children.
He never graduated from high school in Michigan but later received his equivalency diploma, or GED, in Toledo before he began his law enforcement career.
He was an avid musician and met his bride, Rose, at a dance in Ishpeming, Mich. “Girls always fall in love with the guitar player,” his son said.
The two married in the early 1950s and moved to Chicago, where Mr. Nault played guitar at night in clubs and spent his days riding a horse and herding cattle to pay the bills.
His music career was cut short when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952.
After serving in Korea he returned home in 1954 and he and Rose moved across the country to Colorado because he thought that part of the country was pretty, his son said.
He had trouble finding work there, however, and was drawn back to northwest Ohio when he saw an ad for Kurt’s School of Meat. Once located in downtown Toledo, in the area now occupied by Fifth Third Field, the school urged veterans to use the G.I. Bill to get training, his son said.
He worked as a butcher for the Kroger grocery store chain for a few years and the family settled in the Birmingham community in East Toledo.
Mr. Nault started his police career in Woodville as a patrolman. He was hired by Northwood in 1966 and the family relocated there. He rose through the ranks to sergeant, and after he retired from the department in 2004, he took the job of police chief in Luckey.
His wife, Rose, died soon after in 2005.
He was a member of the Northwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2984, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and St. Jerome’s Catholic Church.
Surviving are his daughter, Saundra Nault-Linke; sons, Wayne and Daryl; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Services will be at noon Friday in St. Jerome Catholic Church, Walbridge, where visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Arrangements are being handled by the Eggleston, Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6091.