In Loving Memory of Robert M. Falasco

The Honorable Robert M. Falasco (ret.) surrounded by his loving family entered peacefully into Heaven on March 30, 2012.  A native of Los Banos, Robert was born to Dominic and Theresa Falasco on December 2, 1922.  He was one of five children-Ted, Robert, Lorena, Eda, and Dominic, Jr.  After graduating from Los Banos High School, he enrolled at the University of Santa Clara.  World War II interrupted his studies while he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from May 1943 to March 1946.  Following his graduation from Santa Clara with a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree in June 1948, he married Yvonne Holt on July 31, 1948.  That fall Robert entered Santa Clara’s law school where he earned his Degree of Juris Doctor in June 1951.  He was admited to practice before the California State Bar in July 1952 and as an attorney and counselor of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1960.
Judge Falasco was elected to the Justice Court in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1977.  That year he was appointed to Merced County’s county-wide, Municipal Court.  He served as a Municipal Court judge from 1977 to 1982.  After being appointed to the Superior Court in late 1982, he finished his 26 continuous years as a judge in 1985.
Robert was a man of Catholic faith, integrity, and strength.  He was devoted to his wife Yvonne, his four children Mike, Joanie, Annie, and Sally, their spouses, and 11 grandchildren.  He was extremely close to his mother, two brothers, and two sisters.  Yvonne and Robert had many friends throughout their loving marriage.
Judge Falasco always gave back to his community.  In addition to his 26 years on the bench, he served as a trustee for the Los Banos Elementary School from 1955 to 1958 and as a director of the Merced County Fair Board for 15 years.  He served on the Board of Fellows of the University of Santa Clara.  Robert was instrumental in building both Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School and the Los Banos Memorial Hospital in Los Banos.
His Honor mentored many jurists, attorneys, and law enforcement officers throughout his professional career.  He took extra time to fairly and compassionately help many people who appeared before him in the courtroom.  Two awards stand out – the Merced County Superior Court courthouse in Los Banos is dedicated in his name and he was bestowed by Pope Paul VI the honor of a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory.
Upon his retirement Robert took up woodworking and carving.  He spent many hours in his shop making furniture and toys.  Yvonne and he took numerous trips across the U.S. and the world.  On Thursday nights he relished playing gin rummy cards with his buddies and stayed close to many high school, college, and law school friends.  He delighted in talking about politics and current affairs with anyone interested in a lively debate.
Judge Falasco is survived by his wife of 63 years, Yvonne, his four children, his son-in-laws, one daughter-in-law, and 11 grandchildren.  Robert is also survived by his younger brother Dominic Falasco, his wife Parky, and their two children and families and also by his brother Ted’s wife Jan, her children, and their families.
A celebration of his life was held on April 4, 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.  In lieu of flowerm donations may be made to New Bethany Residential Care and Skilled Nursing Community or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, both located in Los Banos.
Publisher’s Note:  Like many Los Banos residents, I was saddened upon hearing the news of Judge Falasco’s recent passing.  He was the portrait of a very honorable, and distinguished man.  He was revered by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.  I had the utmost respect for the Judge for many reasons.  Over the years I got to know him for the intelligent, just, and kind individual which he truly was residing among us.  Judge Falasco remained open minded to all who came for advice, or to discuss anything with him.
It was my honor to be able to write two articles about this man in The Paper over the years.  He took charge of life trying to always make life a bit better for not only family, but for almost anyone who came in contact with him.  In title, Robert Falasco was indeed Judge, but he was certainly more.  His wisdom and keen eye for justice made him the special Judge we came to know and admire greatly.
The generation from which Judge Falasco came has left with us a powerful impression of service to one another.  Hopefully we can learn from that special era of men and women to continue in their pathway.
We extend sincere condolences to Yvonne and to all family members for their loss at this time.  The husband and father they knew was truly a great role model for many during his lifetime, and will remain so for others in the years ahead.

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