November 15, 1917 ~ September 11, 2006
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.
Jackâ€™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 Masterâ€™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 Hermosaâ€™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 Hermosaâ€™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 Hermosaâ€™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 Jackâ€™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 Jackâ€™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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