John Jason Gale
September 28, 1920 - May 6, 2014
John Jason Gale passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 6 in Torrance. He was 93 years old.
Born in Chicago and raised in Sioux Falls, SD, Jason moved to Southern California at 18 when he learned there was an opportunity to attend junior college for five dollars a term there. While attending Long Beach City College, he worked as domestic help for Congressman and Mrs. Clyde Doyle, who motivated him to go to law school.
Jason then attended UCLA for his undergraduate work until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. He became an aviator in the Army Air Corps and was deployed to Foggia, Italy upon graduation from flight school. He served as a bombardier in a B-17 in World War II and was awarded a The Purple Heart after being wounded during one of his initial missions, later returning to complete 34 missions over Germany and Austria. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a third medal for his heroic efforts.
When World War II ended, Jason resumed his education at UCLA and also resumed his romance with the love of his life, Paula Ann Betz, whom he married in 1947. They were married until her death 61 years later. He enrolled in Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, where he earned a Juris Doctor. He and his wife had three children, Janice, Jason, Jr., and Stephen.
Commencing his career in private practice as an attorney in Los Angeles, Jason later served as a civilian attorney for the United States Navy in San Diego. Joining The Aerospace Corporation as assistant general counsel in 1962, Jason spent 17 years there before retiring early to expand his private practice. He specialized in wills, estates, trusts, probate, and corporate law until he retired in December of last year as one of the longest-serving lawyers in the history of the California Bar.
Jason was active in many Southern California causes over the years. He served as president of The South Bay Bar Association and was a founder of the federal chapters of the American Bar Association in Beverly Hills and San Diego. He was a Trustee of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, and also served as a trustee of the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Foundation for nine years, after which he was named Trustee Emeritus. Jason was a 49-year member of the Palos Verdes Breakfast Club, where he served as president in 1985. He was a long-time member of the Palos Verdes Tennis Club, where he also served as president. He and Paula were avid world travelers for most of their time together.
After being inspired by television's Dancing with the Stars, Jason took up swing dancing at the age of 90, attending regular dances across Southern California.
Jason's survivors include his daughter, Mrs. Janice Gale Silva (James); his son, Stephen Gale (Sin Wee Koh-Gale); his grandson, William James Silva; and his great-grandson, Parker James Lee Silva.
A memorial service for John Jason Gale will be held at 1 p.m. on May 15 at The Neighborhood Church, 415 Paseo Del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates.
The family requests that contributions be made in his name to The Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Foundation and Providence TrinityCare Hospice in Torrance.
Arrangements by Beddingfield Funeral Service (408) 777-8100. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on May 11, 2014
Beddingfield Funeral Service
4323 Moorpark Ave San Jose, CA 95129