April 9, 1927 - March 21, 2021 Our adored father, Harold "Hal" Sharp, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at home on March 21, 2021.Hal was born on April 9, 1927 in Cleveland, OH and was raised in South Philadelphia. He often spoke of his early years in South Philly. He reflected on warm memories of time spent with his family, including his grandparents, uncles and aunts, and the fun they had dancing and singing folk songs around a samovar. He loved going to the movies with his mom and spending time with his brother Burton "Burt" and sister Elaine. Hal spent many hours with Burt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Hal always spoke highly about his high school years at the Edward Bok Vocational School where he learned from great tradesman who taught him design and machining of optical lenses. Hal developed a real love of nature through his experiences in the Boy Scouts. These experiences led to a life as an avid naturalist and an ornithologist.Hal enlisted in the army in April of 1945. While completing his basic military training, he heard that World War II was over. After the war ended, Hal was ordered to the Pacific. He was destined to Yokohoma, Japan and assigned to the 52nd Combat Engineer Battalion. Hal was appointed to the military police and military government team. One of his most interesting assignments he had at this time was being assigned as one of the body guards of Emperor Hirohito.Hal spent many years in Japan. He studied the language and culture and made many friends, some lifelong, during this time. His interest in Judo became a lifelong passion. As a 4th degree Kodokan Judoka, Hal won the 1954 distinction of being the "Foreign Judo Champion" of Japan. He authored several well- known books on Judo, "The Sport of Judo", "Techniques of Judo", "Boys' Judo" and "Boys and Girls Judo and Self-Defense: Road to Black Belt". Hal continued supporting Judo and its community through teaching clinics, publishing books, training videos and creating a website of teacher resources. The Nanka Judo Yudanshakai bestowed Judo's highest rank of 10th Dan to Hal in November 2020. Hal received his college degree in accounting from the first graduating class of Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences (currently known as California State LA). He spent many years working for the United States Air Force Space Division (USAF) in Los Angeles as Chief of Pricing and Contract Management. After retiring from USAF, Hal worked as a government contracts specialist consultant through his late 80's. It was no doubt that Hal's greatest love was for his wife and family. He met our mother Joan "Joanie" working at a CPA firm in Beverly Hills in 1957. It was a true match made in heaven. They celebrated their anniversary of 63 years of marriage in love on September 8, 2020. Hal and Joanie loved taking their kids and grandchildren camping, hiking, fishing, boating and traveling. Our family trips were always great adventures. Hal loved seeing the world with Joanie. His most favorite travels were in Africa, where he was awed by its nature and scenery. Hal truly lived life to the fullest. He was curious, loving, smart, wise, witty, youthful, and he was interested in everything and everyone that surrounded him. He loved photography, cameras, videography, singing folk and camp songs, observing nature and animals, dancing, telling stories and jokes, watching movies (especially Westerns and classics), being a member of the Gardena Judo Club community, teaching and mentoring, helping and caring for others, but most of all, he loved spending time being with family and friends around the kitchen table he built. Hal had an infectious and warm smile, highlighted by sparkly blue eyes, and a high cheek dimple. He emanated happiness. He was truly the greatest guy.Hal will be deeply missed by his family and friends. He is predeceased by his parents, Edward and Fay, brother Burt and sister-in-law Rosemary, and brothers-in-law, Jay and Paul. Hal is survived by his sister Elaine, his wife Joanie, son Richard, daughters Kary (Bill), Denise (Joseph), Lisa (Kevin), grandsons Taylor and Benjamin, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends worldwide.The Sharp Family would like to thank all family, friends and neighbors whose love made our father's life extraordinary. A special thanks to Gary Goltz, Hayward Nishioka, and Low Dong for their friendship and recognition of Hal's life work in the sport of Judo. A special thanks to Aurora "Lala" Garcia whose care, friendship and support of our father lifted him this past year. Post Covid restrictions the family will plan a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity
in Hal's memory.