Thursday, May 22, 2014

Joseph Andrew Heath, BHS 1976

Joseph Andrew Heath passed peacefully at the age of 55 on April 6, 2014 in Long Beach, California. Born in Glendale, California, Joseph grew up in Burbank, attending St. Robert Bellarmine Elementary School and Burbank High School. A graduate of College of the Canyons, UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law, Joseph was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1986, joining the firm of Shield & Smith. He joined the firm of Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar at its inception in 1991, becoming a Partner in 1994. After 27 years of practice as a defense litigator, representing public and private entities throughout Southern California, Joseph took a medical leave from practice in 2013 and retired in 2014, shortly before his death. Having a lifelong interest in public service, Joseph was named the 1981 Harry S. Truman Scholar for the State of California, and continued that passion throughout his legal career. Joseph served three terms on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Long Beach Associates, dedicated to overseeing property and business-based improvements to create a safe business environment and promoting economic development. He served as an arbitrator, mediator and Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court, as well as a Hearing Officer for the Long Beach Civil Service Commission. Joseph's public service extended to family, friends and his community. He was known for giving sage (and even free) legal advice to many who knew him, and was a trusted advisor to the Pastor of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Long Beach. Joseph is survived by his parents, Lawrence and Raylene Heath of Sun Valley, California; wife Tricia and children Elizabeth, Virginia and Joseph Jr. of Long Beach, California; sister and brother-in-law Mary and Edward Strawser of Valencia, California; brother and sister-in-law Lawrence Jr. and Laurie Heath of Valencia, California; brother and sister-in-law Timothy and Donna Heath of Stevenson Ranch, California; brother and sister-in-law John and Patricia Heath of Agoura Hills, California; brother and sister-in-law David and Bonnie Heath of Valencia, California; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Many friends provided comfort to Joseph in his final year of life: Page Brock; Karyn Bryson; cousin David Elder; Lisa Duarte; Larry Kahn; Robert and Diane Reagan; Silvia Rodriguez and family; John and Annette Rygh; Scott and Atisa Sachs; Alan and Ana Maria Terakawa; and Patricia Young.
A Funeral Mass for Joseph will be held at 3:00pm on May 27, 2014, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Long Beach. Father José Magaña will officiate the service. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the Church. His final resting place will be in the sand traps of the Ka'anapali Golf Course in Maui, where he spent most of his vacations; and Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood. In lieu of flowers, please honor Joseph's legacy of service by making a donation to St. Anthony Catholic Church or to Long Beach Community Action Partnership (www.lbcap.org), to continue their good works in the community Joseph loved. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obits. . Published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on May 20, 2014

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