The lawyers and staff of Olivarez Madruga Lemieux O’Neill, LLP mourn the loss of Dave Gondek, who passed away on October 28, 2020 at the age of 69.
Dave was born on May 24, 1951 in Pasadena, CA to his mother Betty Blackwelder and father Dr. Frank Gondek. He graduated from John Muir High School in 1969, and in 1974, graduated with a B.A. in History from UCLA, magna cum laude. In 1980, Mr. Gondek earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Law School and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1981. Thus began Mr. Gondek’s illustrious career in law and public service.
Unmatched in his expertise, Mr. Gondek made monumental contributions to the OMLO firm, and was widely respected in the legal community for his work and his genial mentoring of so many colleagues. He was driven by a deep commitment to community, and was rewarded with admiration and appreciation by the people in the communities he served.
It was not until the end of his career that Dave Gondek made his impact with the Olivarez Madruga Lemieux O’Neill firm. For the first six years of his career, Mr. Gondek was in private practice. From 1987-1997, he served the City of El Monte as the City Attorney and Redevelopment Agency General Counsel. After a 10-year stint in private practice as a partner with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Mr. Gondek’s passion for serving the community brought him back to the City of El Monte as Deputy City Attorney in 2007. After retiring from the City of El Monte in 2013, his loyalty, dedication, and caring spirit shone through in his continued work with the City as the Senior Deputy City Attorney for El Monte, while starting a new position at Olivarez Madruga Lemieux O’Neill. We believe it was a labor of love.
In 2013, when Dave joined our firm, he brought with him an undeniable sense of authority, rigorous work ethic, and warm camaraderie. In recent years, he was instrumental in many notable projects in the City of El Monte and the City of Cudahy relating to affordable housing, redevelopment, and land use.
Over the past forty years, Mr. Gondek’s legal practice included a myriad of areas. In private practice, Dave focused on municipal bond law, redevelopment law, military base reuse, and public airport law, as well as public finance, and public agency grant funding administration. Mr. Gondek’s practice continually developed throughout his long and accomplished career, thus also specializing in community and economic development, police power regulation, public works, finance and contract administration, code enforcement, and general municipal law. His capacity to master so many areas of practice was a marvel.
Outside of law, Dave enjoyed a wealth of hobbies and interests: trains, air shows, gardening, hiking, and comedy, to name a few. He enjoyed the company of his dogs, Molly, Lucy, and Agnes, and was blessed with a large and loving family. He is survived by his wife Christina, his children Chris, Shanti, Nicholas, Franklin, and Davey, his grandchildren, and his mother Betty. His warmth was felt by all those who had the luck and pleasure of knowing him, whether it be as family, friend, or mentor, and he will be missed and very fondly remembered.