The community is mourning the unexpected passing of John Nuss, a well-regarded 22-year-old Richmond city employee and Pinole Valley High graduate known as a friendly personality at the Richmond Plunge and Richmond Swim Center for more than five years.
Nuss was a lifeguard and taught swim lessons to children and adults, according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who paid tribute to him at the end of Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“Many people knew him as the person who would open up the building for their morning swim,” the mayor said.
Nuss’ death stunned family, friends and coworkers. His brother Timothy also worked recently as a city lifeguard. In the last two years, he had struggled with an addiction that ultimately claimed his life on Sunday, Sept. 24, according to an online fundraiser set up to assist with funeral expenses.
“He had recently made tremendous progress towards sobriety but lost his battle on Sunday morning,” according to the fundraiser.
Nuss will be missed by local swimmers.
“Jonathan was my daughter’s swim teacher earlier this year and was so kind and patient with all of his students,” one person wrote on his fundraising page. “A wonderful young man.”
Another described him as “a really nice young man” who was “always friendly to the swimmers at the Plunge.”
Nuss swam many years with the Pinole Seals Swim team and graduated from Pinole Valley High in 2013, according to the fundraiser.
“The regular swimmers at the Plunge loved Jon, he would often let the cool ones swim for free,” loved ones said. “Jon was an amazing friend. He loved his pug ling ling, camping on the lake and making his friends laugh.”
He leaves behind his parents Terri and David, his twin brother Timothy, younger brother Samuel, girlfriend of six years Stephanie and many more who cared about him.
Viewing will be Friday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rolph Park Drive in Crockett. The memorial is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. at Central Assembly Church in El Sobrante.