Honoring the Judge

Courthouse named for Robert M. Falasco ’48, J.D. ’51

Last August, judges in the Los Banos area gathered to pay tribute to a colleague who had mentored many of them in his decades on the bench. They praised him for his honesty and intelligence, and for being a man of common sense with a touch of humor. They also renamed the courthouse in his honor: the Merced County Robert M. Falasco Justice Center.

Falasco was humbled by the tribute—a moment that holds the penultimate place among the recognitions he’s received for his work inside and outside the courtroom. He still counts as his greatest achievement an honor bestowed on him in 1975 by Pope Paul VI: being made a Knight of St. Gregory the Great for his civic and religious activities.

“My Catholic identity is one of the most central things to my life,” he says—and then adds, wryly, “especially now that I’m entering into my twilight years.” He particularly admired the Jesuits who taught him at Santa Clara: Raymond F. Copeland, William J. Tobin, Francis A. Moore, and Dan Germann. “After SCU,” Falasco says, “Fr. Copeland came to Los Banos and would deliver communion to my mother. And Fr. Tobin baptized my children and my wife when she converted. Fr. Germann taught all of my children.”

Those children would be Michael R. Falasco ’73, MBA ’75, Joan LaSalvia ’75, Anne Norton ’75, and Sally Perry ’78. In addition, brother Dominic Falasco ’51, nephew Dan Falasco ’90, grandchildren Dominique Norton ’05, James J. Norton ’07, and Christine LaSalvia ’09, and son-in-law Charles Norton ’76 have come to Santa Clara.

post-image Friend of the court: Falasco at the justice center that now bears his name Photo: Annette Elrod
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