Berkeley firefighter Tony Nunes, who died on Feb. 23, 2014

The life of Anthony Frank Nunes, 54, a Berkeley firefighter who died in an off-duty accident on Feb. 23, will be celebrated on Sunday March 9.

Nunes, who would have celebrated his  28th year with the Berkeley Fire Department last month, was killed on Sunday Feb. 23 after the tractor he was driving on his family property in Martinez overturned and rolled down a steep hill.

Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong described Nunes as having a personality that would always light up a room. He always had a smile on his face, he said.

Nunes had been assigned to Berkeley Fire Station No. 7 on Shasta Road in the North Berkeley hills for the past decade.

Nunes’ captain, Warren Davis, said Nunes was particularly good at handling fire station visits. “He would always step up and do show and tell with the kids,” he said. “He truly loved it.”

Nunes came from a firefighting family. His father was in the Contra Costa fire department, as were two of his brothers. Capt. John Nunes, served more than 30 years with Contra Costa fire department before he died of leukemia in 2009, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. His brother, Lawrence Nunes, retired as a battalion chief from the department in 2011. Another brother works for East Bay Regional Parks and a nephew is at Cal Fire.

Nunes came to Berkeley in 1986 from the Piedmont Fire Department where he served for seven years. Prior to that, he was a reserve with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District. He was one of the first firefighter paramedics in Berkeley, according to Dong.

Nunes was born in Concord, CA on May 18, 1959 to Frank and Eleanor Nunes and raised on his family’s ranch in Martinez. He graduated from Alhambra High School in 1977 and had already begun his career in the fire service.

Tony was a pilot, flight instructor, private contractor, water rescue swimmer, sailor, S.W.A.T. medic, musician and guitarist, amateur mechanic, recycler, rancher, gardener, father, brother, son, uncle, brother-in-law, father-in-law, friend, and loved forever by all. He is now reunited with his brother John.

Nunes is survived by his two adult children.

Family, friends, firefighters, and all who would like to join in the celebration on Tony’s life are encouraged to attend a ceremony on March 9, 2014 at the Haas Pavilion at UC Berkeley. Please wear your favorite spring colors, as this is a celebration. Services will begin promptly at 12 o’clock, and will be followed by a reception at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club (also on campus).

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the B Walker Ranch in Tony’s name.

Feel free to share your messages of condolence and/or memories of Tony Nunes in the comments.

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