Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

John Nantell


The Cleveland, Ohio Plain Dealer, Obituary, January 29, 1995, p. 10B:

John Nantell was a government attorney, educator, veteran, poet and Cleveland policeman.

He worked for the U.S. Treasury Department from 1954 to 1974.

He initially served as inspector in charge of the Cleveland District for the Internal Revenue Service.

He investigated employee fraud and embezzlement in northern Ohio and Indiana.

Mr. Nantell died Friday at Fairview General Hospital. He was 81.

In the early 1960s he worked for the U.S. Justice Department Strike Force on Organized Crime in Cleveland.

In 1963 he received special recognition from U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for his excellence in prosecuting Treasury cases.

He enjoyed writing poetry as a hobby and was called the "poet laureate of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association."

Even while working full time, Mr. Nantell taught evening courses on collective bargaining, labor relations and government at Fenn College and later at Cleveland State University.

After retiring from government service in 1974, he taught full time at CSU and Dyke College.

His teaching career spanned 28 years.

A lifelong Cleveland resident, he grew up on the West Side and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1931. He graduated from John Carroll University in 1935 and John Marshall School of Law in 1949.

Mr. Nantell attended the Western Reserve Graduate School of Business and Economics from 1952 to 1955.

From 1935 to 1941, he was a Cleveland policeman. He enlisted in the Army during World War II, where he was an automatic-weapons specialist.

He was awarded seven Bronze Stars and other medals for participating in the invasions of Spanish Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Anzio and French Rhineland.

He married Ruth M. Beas in 1946.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters, Mary Nantell Pearce of Cleveland, Judy of Tucson, Ariz., and Sharon of East Lansing, Mich.; and three grandchildren.