Paul S. Sanislo, who moved from Cleveland to Solon in 1968 because of the outstanding reputation of the Solon City Schools, served as president of the Solon City Board of Education in the mid-1970s.
“When he was on the school board, he was very adamant about penmanship,” said his daughter, Susan Tilly. “He wanted that to be part of the curriculum: writing lessons. He wanted people to be able to write legibly.”
Sanislo, a lawyer who died June 2 at age 84, also served as president of the Solon Charter Review Commission and legal adviser to the Solon Drug Abuse Center, which he helped organize.
In 1984, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the city of Solon.
He was born and grew up in the Buckeye Road area of Cleveland.
His father, a Hungarian immigrant who was known as a “chicken man,” sold fresh chickens to stores, restaurants and individuals in the Eastern European enclave. His mother worked for Ohio Bell for many years.
After graduating from Maple Heights High School in the mid-1940s, Sanislo served with the Army Corps of Engineers and enrolled at Baldwin-Wallace College, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1948.
He held an office job at Park Drop Forge while taking night school classes at what was then the Cleveland Marshall School of Law, earning a law degree in 1961. He later served as a Cleveland Marshall Educational Foundation officer and Cleveland Marshall Law School Alumni Association president.
Sanislo, a Democrat, served on Cleveland City Council from 1963 through 1968.
Recordings of his 1966 debates with fellow councilman Jack P. Russell on the city income tax issue are in Cleveland State University’s City Club of Cleveland Forum sound recordings collection.
During Sanislo’s years in private practice and after joining the Stewart and DeChant law firm in 2000, he specialized in law involving workers' compensation, probate, estate and personal injury claims. He arbitrated many cases.
Sanislo, who was fluent in Hungarian, was a member of the Hungarian Business and Tradesmen's Club.
He golfed for many years at the Aurora Country Club and took golf trips to such places as Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Bimini and Australia, as well as Florida and Pennsylvania.
Sanislo is survived by his daughter, Susan Tilly. His wife, Mary Ellen (nee Conroy), died in 2009.
Memorial services are being planned for this summer. Arrangements are by Johnson-Romito Funeral Home of Bedford.
Donations may be made to the Hungarian Heritage Club, 12027 Abbott Rd., Hiram, OH 44234.