“I was very fortunate,” Lozano said “I left with a good feeling. I left believing I made a difference in the Hispanic community. It was the right time to leave,” he said, adding he left the places open for other young Latinos to fill.
Joel Arredondo, president of the Mexican Mutual and Lorain City Council president, described Lozano as “a very giving person with an impressive resume.” Arredondo said he grew up playing ball with Lozano. “We want to keep his legacy going,” Arredondo said. “Anyone who devotes his time to public service is a special kind of person.”
Lozano retired as a bailiff for Lorain Municipal Court Judge Thomas Elwell April 30, 2009, after serving there for almost four years. Before that, he served 14 years on Lorain City Council as a 6th ward and then at-large city councilman, and four years with the Lorain Civil Service Commission. He worked as a custodian for Lorain city schools for one year, while serving on Lorain City Council.
Lozano, born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, joined the U.S. military after high school, where he served as a Marine for four years. He also served in the Vietnam War and ended his military career in Cuba.
Lozano was also a former president of Lorain's Puerto Rican Home and founded its annual Boricua Festival, he said.
Lozano's friends, family and prominent local people gathered to congratulate him on his career at the retirement party.
The attendees included Lorain Police chief Cel Rivera, Lorain City School Board member Jim Smith, and President of the Puerto Rican Home Club Juan A. Silva.
Guests were treated to typical Mexican dishes of tamales, arroz con habichuelas, pastelillos, and tacos, while Mariachi music and even music from Alejandro Fernández could be heard in the background.
While some gathered on picnic tables nibbling on cherries or smoking cigars on the side yard, others surrounded the bar while a soccer game played on the big TV screen.
Patty D’Orazio, who worked as an administrative assistant in the same court as Lozano, said Lozano knew how to keep the court in order while serving as bailiff. “He was able to calmly and diplomatically get the defendant who was out of hand, to calm down,” she said.
Lozano said he learned so much about the Latinos’ struggle while working as bailiff.
“That opened my eyes to the plight of Hispanics,” Lozano said “Many did not speak English, and some think what happens around them doesn't affect them but it does,” he said.