Samuel Bernard "Sammy" Nunez Jr.

Obituary
33 entries
  • "So sorry to hear of cousin Sammy's passing. Everytime I met..."
    - Arthur Nunez,Sr.
  • "Will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing..."
    - Errol & Jean Nunez
  • "I worked with Sammy while employed at Burk-Kleinpeter for..."
    - April Adams
  • "Louisiana has lost a great man. We have another Saint in..."
    - Janet Evans
  • "We should all respect and appreciate the good work Senator..."
    - Senator A.G. Crowe
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Longtime state legislator and former president of the Louisiana Senate, Samuel Bernard "Sammy" Nunez Jr. passed away Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, of complications from pneumonia. The 81-year-old Plaquemines Parish resident served in the Louisiana Legislature for more than three decades beginning with his election to the House of Representatives in 1964 and continuing with his election to the Senate in 1969 until he completed his legislative service in 1996. In 1980, Sen. Nunez's colleagues chose him as Senate president pro-tempore. In 1982, they elected him Senate president, a position he held from 1982-1988 and again from 1990-1996 with additional service as president pro-tempore in the interim from 1988-1990. During his tenure in the Legislature, he served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1973, where he was responsible for the creation of the homestead exemption. He led efforts to reform the state's budget process with the establishment of the Revenue Estimating Conference in the state Constitution, authored legislation to create the SECURE Commission, a major streamlining government effort from 1993-1995, was instrumental in the construction of the Louisiana Superdome, the New Orleans Arena and the Ernest Morial Convention Center and was the driving force in the push for the construction of the Crescent City Connection, Interstate 510 and the West Bank Expressway. He also promoted the development of the Nunez Community College that was named in honor of his late wife, Elaine P. Nunez, worked tirelessly to protect Louisiana's coast and the interests of the seafood and fisheries industry. He is credited with modernizing and streamlining the operations of the Louisiana Senate. Sammy Nunez Jr. was active in national legislative affairs and served as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Southwest Energy Council. After leaving the Legislature, he served on the board of commissioners of the Port of New Orleans from 2004-2009, holding the position of president in 2008. Throughout his decades of public service, Sammy Nunez was considered a gentleman, a statesman and a peacemaker who crossed party lines to get things done for the people of Louisiana. He was a tireless, dedicated public servant who wanted nothing but the best for Louisiana and its citizens. Sammy Nunez Jr. was born on Jan. 27, 1930. He graduated from Joseph Maumus High School and attended LSU, graduating with a bachelor's degree. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955, participating in the Korean War with honors. The longtime operator and president of the Nunez Insurance Agency is survived by his wife, Cynthia Wall Nunez; mother-in-law, Minere Wall; sister-in-law, Joni W. Watkins; niece, Caroline Grace Watkins; sister-in-law, Adele "Tudy" Nunez; nephew, Hillary Nunez; and niece, Christie Nunez. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine P. Nunez; parents, Sammy Nunez Sr. and Leonia Nunez; and his brother, Hillary Joseph "Tookie" Nunez. Pallbearers will be State Senate President John Alario, former state Sen. Hank Lauricella, former state Rep. Ken Odinet Sr., St. Bernard Parish District Attorney Jack Rowley, former Jefferson Parish District Attorney John Mamoulides, retired State Police Maj. Ken Curlee, George Kleinpeter and nephew Hillary Nunez. Visitation at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 10:30 a.m. until Mass of the Christian Burial at 1:30 p.m., officiated by Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond. Eulogy to be delivered by Gov. Edwin W. Edwards. Burial follows at St. Bernard Memorial Gardens, 701 W. Virtue St., Chalmette. The family offers a special thank you to Sylvia Duke, Wilva Gross and Anna Rodriguez for their decades of love and support. Arrangements entrusted to Greenwood Funeral Home.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2012
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