Joseph, John J
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August 23, 1920 - December 27, 2012
John J Joseph (92) passed away peacefully in his sleep to join his loving wife of 58 years Esther in heaven who he lost in 2002. At home with his family by his side, he passed from complications resulting from an infection. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Paul and Julia Joseph one of 13 children. In the mid 1920's the family moved to Los Angeles. He graduated in 1938 from Garfield High School where he was captain of the football team and earned all LA City honors for 3 seasons. He also lettered in baseball and track. He served as a Chief in the United States Navy from 1939 to 1945 in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters of operations during WWII. Upon discharge he enrolled at LA City College where he earned MVP, All Conference and All Coast Honors in Football. He accepted a football scholarship to UCLA as a 6'1 240 lbs. offensive lineman. His college and most likely professional football career were cut short by a devastating knee injury that required several surgeries. He continued as a graduate assistant under the legendary UCLA coach Red Sanders. In 1950 he accepted a teaching and coaching position at Santa Monica City College and purchased the family home on North Maria Ave in Redondo Beach where he remained until his death. For the next 42 years he coached football and swimming. Although never having participated in the sport he became one of the most successful and more importantly respected and loved swimming coaches at any level in United States history. He has been inducted into several halls of fames, coached 306 All American swimmers, 13 undefeated seasons, 21 conference coaches of the year awards and was named State and National Coach of the Year on several occasions. He was an avid skier, scuba diver and was playing golf up to 3 times a week until his passing. His family was his life and somehow he found time to sometimes coach and always attend the many athletic and cheer events of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is survived by his son John (Claudia) and daughters Jeffri Ann Mallett (Ron) and Jeanne Marie Wade (Jim) grandsons Brett and Johnny Joseph, Michael Mallett (Erica), Tyler Wade (Vanessa), granddaughter Missy Mallett-Manlove (Bill) and four great grandchildren.
A memorial mass will be held at St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach at 10:00 AM Thursday January 3, 2013 with reception immediately following in the church hall.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 3, 2013