Jack
Jack Belasco, 88, former Mayor of Hermosa Beach, educator and athelete passed away September 11 at his home in Manhattan Beach of complications arising from multiple strokes. He is survived by his wife of twenty-four years, Patricia Woolley Belasco, a son Steven Belasco of San Luis Obispo and grandchildren Evelyn of Los Angeles and Max of San Luis Obispo. He was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn in 1980. Jack’s extended family included three stepchildren - Christopher Woolley of Rancho Santa Fe, Paul Woolley of Shanghai, China and Mimi Ery of Vence, France and nine grandchildren Amanda, Alex, Shaina, John, Paul, Mark, William, James and Sidney Rose. A native Californian, Jack was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Los Angeles area. He attended Hamilton High School, Santa Monica City College and UCLA playing varsity football at each. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Bulldogs in the old Pacific Coast Professional Football League and fondly remembered playing with greats of the day Kenny Washington and Jackie Robinson. From 1948 until his retirement in 1978 Jack taught at Morningside High School and Cal State Dominguez Hills and was nationally recognized as a distinguished educator in 1954 when he was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship and again in 1962 when he was awarded a John Hay Fellowship. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree as well as a Doctorate in Education and never tired of his love of working with young people. As Mayor and Councilman of Hermosa Beach from 1959 to 1967 Jack founded Hermosa’s Sister City Program with Loreto, Mexico, oversaw development of the first general plan for the City of Hermosa, worked successfully to replace the condemned old pier, worked to prevent oil drilling off Hermosa, and was a strong advocate for Hermosa’s recreation programs including his first love: Beach volleyball. He was a strong believer in the responsibility of citizens to participate in their government and saw his service to Hermosa as nothing more than that. Jack was always especially proud of establishing Hermosa’s Sister City Program which has linked Hermosa and Loreto for almost fifty years. Numerous cultural exchanges and aid efforts over the years combined with personal relationships between citizens of the two communities have all helped realize Jack’s dream of international cooperation and understanding. In retirement Jack had the opportunity to travel extensively and enjoy people and places throughout the world. He and his wife Pat loved especially to camp and took every opportunity to enjoy the many beauties California offers campers. But the South Bay and especially Hermosa Beach always had a special place in Jack’s heart and he was happy to have contributed to the community he so loved. A gathering of family and friends will be at White and Day Manhattan Beach Chapel on Sunday, September 17 at 11:00 a.m. A memorial service will be held at St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach on Saturday, September 30 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Save-the-Redwoods League at P.O. Box 44614 San Francisco, CA 94144. Note that your donation is on behalf of Jack.

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  1. Dear Mom, I read the “tribute” to Jack. I will write one of my own as well. I’m so sorry that I will not be able to be with you on the 17th or the 30th, but my heart is with you. I love you, Mimi

  2. I graduated from Morningside High School in 1965 and went on to receive my undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCLA. When I reflect on all my teachers and professors, Jack Belasco stands out as one of the most inspired. He taught us about civic engagement and required us to be involved in the presidential campaign. He also connected me to an international pen pal agency and since that time I have written to my pen pal in what was then East Berlin. Jack Belasco had a lasting impact on more students than you can imagine.

  3. I graduated from Morningside High School in 1965 and went on to receive my undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCLA. When I reflect on all my teachers and professors, Jack Belasco stands out as one of the most inspired. He taught us about civic engagement and required us to be involved in the presidential campaign. He also connected me to an international pen pal agency and since that time I have written to my pen pal in what was then East Berlin. Jack Belasco had a lasting impact on more students than you can imagine.

  4. To the family of Jack Belasco, I was so saddened to learn of Jack’s passing. I was privileged to have had him as a teacher at Morningside High School and he was revered by classmates. Our 45th HS reunion is coming up on October 28 and I’d been trying to reach him to invite him as our guest because so many classmates had asked about “Mr. Belasco.” I have such wonderful memories of his humor and dedication and caring. We were there when he ran for City Council….and WON. Talk about actually being involved in government! He truly cared about his students and we adored him in return. Thank you for sharing him with us. My classmates and I mourn his passing.

  5. I will fondly remember going to the UC extension class with Mr. Belasco. It was so much to listen to his great stories and get to know a “teacher” outside of the classroom. I am sure part of my decision to become a teacher was due to his love of teaching. Every child in school should be lucky enough to have at least one Mr Belasco during his school career.

  6. To the family of “Mr. Belasco”, You can probably tell that I was fortunate enough to know your loved one at MHS. He was always a favorite teacher – warm, caring and funny too. My best memory is of talking to him at one of our reunions. He gave me the most remembered compliment I have ever received. He told me that had he been fortunate enough to have a daughter, he would have wanted her to be like me! WOW! I send you prayers and know that the wonderful memories you have will strengthen you. Joan Anderson MHS 1961

  7. To the family of Jack Belasco. I knew the Belasco family and Jack in the 60s as a child growing up because they lived a few doors away on Valley Drive. His family and his wife Evelyn were freinds with my parents and other people on our street. Steve and Chris their sons were always a great influence on me growing up and great to be around. I was sad when evelyn passed away and i always looked up to Jack and enjoyed is outgoing nature and i was saddened to now hear of Jacks passing. My deepest condolences to the entire Belasco family and just know that there were alot of people Jack touched including myself and our family.

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