Obituary for Giovanni "Bruno" Selmi
Bruno Selmi passed away in Gerlach on May 13, 2017 at the age of 94. Bruno was a legend in Northern Nevada and a beloved figure in the town of Gerlach.
Bruno spoke little English when he showed up at the Spraga ranch in Dayton and became the cook in the kitchen. He later joined a few fellow Italians working in Empire, Nevada. By day, he would work in Empire and by night, he would tend bar and deal 21 where he met his wife, Frances, an accordion player in a band. In 1950, Bruno bought a bar in Gerlach, originally known as the Longhorn Bar. Later he bought what would become the iconic Bruno’s Country Club. It became the favorite place for Picon Punches, (a Basque drink) and raviolis for local ranchers, hunters, truckers, fishermen, adventurers, travelers, and the Burners. Bruno’s Country Club was the place to hang out when the world’s land and speed record was set on the Black Rock Desert.
Throughout his career, Bruno received many Distinguished awards, such as the Lucchesi award for Distinguished Italian American. As well as many community awards from the U.S. Gypsum, Co., the Sherriff’s Dept., Burning Man for help and support for all the years and numerous others.
Bruno was old school Italian in every way. He believed in good food, and he always made sure that everyone had a cocktail! Anyone who met Bruno has their own lively stories about him.
Bruno was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Selmi. He is survived by his daughter, Skeekie Courtney (Cecil) and grandchildren, Willie and Cecil Courtney and great grandchildren.
There will be a visitation at 3PM on Thursday, May 18th at Walton’s Funeral Home - Sierra Chapel, 875 W. Second St. Reno, NV. A Mass will be held at 1PM on Friday, May 19th at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, with a Private burial to follow, per Bruno’s wishes the family asks for casual attire and no suits; a Celebration of Bruno’s life will be held later this summer.
Bruno never enjoyed flowers and whenever asked of what to do with money would always say to give some to the kids, therefore in lieu of flowers, contributions in Bruno’s memory may be made to a college savings account set-up at the Nevada State Bank, so that his legacy may live on. Account number #5794677780.
The family also invites you to leave a condolence message on the Book of Memories at: wwwwaltonsfuneralhomes.com.
Right or wrong he did it his way.