Born in Reno, Judge Brunetti graduated from Sparks High School and attended the University of Nevada, where he studied electrical engineering before leaving school in 1953 to take a job in the food industry. Years later, on the advice of a judge who was a family friend, he decided to pursue a career in law and was admitted to the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He received his J.D. in 1964.
Judge Brunetti returned to Nevada to practice and began his legal career as an associate at Vargas, Bartlett and Dixon, from 1964 to 1969. He then joined the firm of Laxalt, Bell, Berry, Allison and LeBaron, where he worked as an associate from 1970 to 1971 and as a partner from 1971 to 1978. He was a shareholder in the firm of Allison, Brunetti, MacKenzie, Hartman, Soumbeniotis and Russell from 1978 until his appointment to the federal bench. He also served as president of the Nevada State Bar from 1984 to 1985.
Family and friends recall Judge Brunetti as a natural leader, a man of principle and character in all aspects of his life and professional career, and someone who pursued every endeavor with great enthusiasm. He was a musician (clarinet and ukulele) in his younger years and had a band that entertained at high school dances. Later in life, he became an accomplished photographer. Judge Brunetti is survived by his wife of 44 years, Gail; two children, Nancy of Yerington, Nevada, and Bradley of Phoenix, Arizona; two brothers, Larry of Boise, Idaho, and Frank of Castro Valley, California; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Another son, Melvin Jr., is deceased.
The funeral service will be held Saturday, November 7, at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, 310 W. Second St., Reno. A private burial service is planned.
# # #