2/23/1931 - 3/9/2013
Jack Gallon peacefully transitioned from this life on Saturday, March 9, 2013, and leaves behind legions of family members, colleagues, friends, clients, and acquaintances to celebrate the memories of his life.
Born February 23, 1931, to parents Joe and Sade Gallon, Jack was a model child, excelling academically, in sports, as a scout, and in the observance of his Jewish faith and culture. In high school, he was a City of Toledo and State of Ohio wrestling champion.
After graduating from DeVilbiss High School, Jack received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Michigan where he received his Bachelor's degree in 1953 and his J.D. in 1955. He lettered in wrestling while at Michigan and had an undefeated season as a sophomore and later became a Big Ten Champion. He traveled to Israel to participate in the Maccabiah Games on two occasions and was a Gold Medal winner in his weight class.
Upon graduating from law school, he returned to Toledo in 1955 to begin the practice of law and opened his office inside the Teamster's Hall, thus beginning a career of passionate service and advocacy on behalf of the Teamsters and several other labor unions, as well as for working people and individuals with disabilities. In addition, Jack was an aggressive proponent for ending racial discrimination during the Civil Rights movement of the 60's and a continuous advocate for ending all form of disparate treatment and inequality toward individuals to the very end. He was steadfast in his defense of the First Amendment. Early on, he forged a lasting relationship with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and became a lifetime advocate for the cause of farm worker justice. He continuously practiced law with the same passion and dedication for serving unions, working and disabled individuals, and civil rights until his very recent retirement from the law firm that bears his name - Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA.
In addition to his practice of law, Mr. Gallon was a dedicated environmentalist who loved nature. He served as a Commissioner on the Toledo Area Metroparks Board for twenty years, functioning as its Chair from 2003-2009. During his tenure, the Metroparks experienced exponential growth and development and became one of the many crown jewels of our Northwest Ohio community. He loved to spend time with his family and close friends at his retreat in Kingsley, Michigan, where he could share his love of nature by participating in long walks in the woods.
Jack was a devout follower of his Jewish faith and a staunch advocate for and defender of the State of Israel. He often proudly shared his Jewish culture with all who wished to participate. He traveled frequently to Israel with family, clients, and friends. He is a charter member of the National Labor Advisory Board of Israel Bonds and a former Chair of the Labor Advisory Board of the Jewish National Fund. Jack and his wife, Kathryn, were honored to receive the Toledo Jewish Community "Legacy Award" in 1998, 2004, and 2006.
His many accolades, recognitions, and awards are far too numerous to list completely here. Among them though are the following: Ohio Parks and Recreation Citizen of the Year (2000), National Parks and Recreation Association Board Citizen Member of the Year (2003), National Parks and Recreation Association Volunteer Citizen Board Member of the Year (2005), Toledo Legal Aid Society Access to Justice Award (2005), Ohio Parks and Recreation Association Harvey Woods Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), Farmworker Justice Committee in Washington, DC (Executive Committee Member for eight years).
Jack was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Elton "Chuck" Gallon. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Kathryn, who shared his life during good times and served him faithfully through his end of life challenges. He is also survived by his children Laurie Lindrup, John Gallon, Julie Gallon, Robbin Gallon, and Matthew Gallon; grandchildren, David Gallon, Blaine Sparling, Jessica Mowrey, and Andrew Sparling, and his brother, Mark Gallon.
Jack's family and friends especially wish to express their gratitude to the caregivers and staff at Aspen Grove Assisted Living where Jack received such kind, caring, and compassionate attention during his final days.
Services will be conducted at Congregation B'nai Israel, 6526 Sylvania Ave, Sylvania, Ohio, at noon on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, with interment to follow immediately thereafter at Beth Shalom Cemetery in Oregon, Ohio.
The family requests that those wishing to make memorial contributions consider Congregation Etz Chayim (etzchayimtoledo.org), Toledo Area Metroparks (metroparkstoledo.com), or the Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org).
GO BLUE, Jack!
Arrangements by Robert H. Wick/Wisnewski Funeral Home. (419-535-5840).
Published in Toledo Blade on Mar. 11, 2013