Harold "Hal" Sharp
1927 - 2021
{ "" }
Share Harold's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
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.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Los Angeles Times from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2021.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
March 30, 2021
Hal and I met towards the end of 2016, I’d been studying Jujitsu for a couple of years and Karate since I was a young boy. I’d read Hal’s books and was very
impressed with his knowledge and experience with judo. I met him at his dojo in Gardena and was so impressed with its teachers and especially him, that I joined right away and participated there until I left to teach karate in Romania. Before my leaving for Romania, Hal had moved further south along the coast and not far from where my father had moved to in Escondido.
I invited Hal and his wonderful wife Joanie to my father’s for a farewell dinner for me. I also soent some time with Hal and Joanie when I returned from Romania. There’s nothing that can make you miss America like spending time half way around the world, I was glad to be back. Hal will be greatly missed by me and my family. I’m sire Hal will keep practicing and teaching judo for the Angels in Heaven, who will surely be charmed and entertained by his warmth and knowledge.
My deepest condolences to his family.

Adam Palmer
Adam Palmer
March 28, 2021
It was pleasure meeting Mr sharp because my mother cleaned their house for many years and I would go help her. It was an honor having him at my wedding (1998) . One think I will never forget it was a raining day and we went to deliver tamales and he carried me out on his back I was like “no” he said “I’m a judo pro if I can handle me I got this “ I would like send my deepest condolences to the family ❤. He will dearly be miss I know he will be watching us “ Hal “
Delia Gaeta-Martinez
March 28, 2021
I first met Hal about 40 years ago, when he was teaching Contract Management courses through UCLA Extension. We developed a great rapport and maintained contact during my Aerospace career. He was a great storyteller, and I enjoyed the tales of his time in Japan. I am ever grateful to Hal for boosting my career as he included me as the industry member of speaker panels as a young professional.

Sincerest condolences to his family.
Nanette Pastor-Hanna
March 27, 2021
In the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of taking Hal Sharp Sensei to some of the local tournaments in Orange County. I would help him set up next to the mats so he could videotape.
My son KOREY Widdop-Cross was his uki when he came to teach at San Shi dojo in Vista CA.
May you Rest In Peace Sensei!!!❤
Wendy Widdop-Cross
March 27, 2021
What a great person and a real judo treasure. Still remember absorbing his first book when I was a junior. Always had a good story to tell. A person who will truly be missed.
Jim Webb
March 27, 2021
Hal was always a pleasure to be around and spend time with! A wealth of knowledge and very down to earth! He will be and is missed!
My sincere Condolences to his family and his many friends! He was a true class act!
I will miss him!
Jentry R Kendall
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences