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Posted on Mon, Aug. 30, 2010

Edward C. Gallas, 92, formerly of Point Pleasant
By Sally A. Downey


Inquirer Staff Writer

Edward C. Gallas, 92, formerly of Point Pleasant, Bucks County, a retired personnel director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, died Saturday, Aug. 14, at Belmont Village in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.  Mr. Gallas joined the Port Authority in 1967. Previously he had been executive officer of the Los Angeles Superior Court for 19 years.

He and his wife, Nesta Williams Gallas, a public administration specialist at the United Nations, lived in a 19th-century house on the Delaware Canal in Point Pleasant and also maintained an apartment in New York City.

After retiring from the Port Authority in the early 1980s, Mr. Gallas was chairman of the Personnel Appeals Board for the U.S. Government Accountability Office and was a consultant to the World Bank on assignments in Thailand, Moldova, Samoa, and Jamaica. He was also a consultant to the Philadelphia court system.

Mr. Gallas, his wife, and Ernest Friesen were coauthors of Managing the Courts, published in 1971. He was past president of the International Personnel Management Association.

A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Gallas earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola University in Los Angeles. He played outfield on the Loyola baseball team and was offered a professional baseball contract, said a son, Geoff. He turned down the opportunity, his son said, and instead became an administrative intern for Los Angeles County. He was later was on the staff of the League of California Cities.

During World War II, Mr. Gallas served in the Navy in Hawaii.

He was an avid gardener, gracious host, and devotee of fine wine and food, his son said.

Mr. Gallas and his wife enjoyed vacations in Hawaii and California and moved to Manhattan Beach, Calif., last year.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a son, William; daughters Karen and Stephanie; 11 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Services were private.
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Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com

Philadelphia Newspapers Reorganization Copyright 2010


 

 

 

 

Edward C. Gallas, court-management pioneer, dies at 92

Edward C. Gallas died Saturday Aug. 14, 2010, at Belmont Village in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. His passing at the age of 92 was quiet, peaceful, and dignified. He recently moved to the Belmont from Manhattan Beach, Calif., where he and his wife of 66 years had moved to from their primary residence just outside of Philadelphia in Point Pleasant, Pa.

Ed Gallas was an outstanding, rightly revered public servant. Despite being offered a major league baseball contract after graduation from Loyola University in Los Angeles, he became a governmental intern in Los Angeles County and then staff to the League of California Cities. After joining the Navy, he received management and officer training at Harvard University, and served as a logistics and planning officer at Fort Island Pacific Air Command in Hawaii during World War II. After the war, he helped found Research Associates Inc., and consulted for public and private organizations throughout the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific Rim.  

In 1958, Ed became the first executive officer of the Los Angeles Superior Court and a pioneer in the then-nonexistent court-management profession. At the time, only about 20 people had the title of court administrator, court manager, or executive officer at the federal, state, or trial court level, and few thought of themselves, or were recognized by others, as members of a profession. Today, there are thousands of such professionals in the United States and throughout the world. Together with his wife, Nesta the first female president of the American Society of Public Administration and Ernest Friesen, he authored a seminal book titled "Managing the Courts" that contributed mightily to the founding and development of the now prestigious profession.

Ed left the courts in 1967 to become the director of personnel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and was elected president of the International Personnel Management Association. Following his retirement from the Port Authority, he worked for the United States Congress at the General Accounting Office and the World Bank on assignments in, among other places, Thailand, Moldova, Samoa, and Jamaica. He received many honors during his career, including being elected to the National Academy of Public Administration.

Ed was an avid gardener, gracious host, and devotee of fine wine and food and his friends. The center and love of his life was his family: his wife, Nesta; their four children, Geoff, William (Boo), Karen, and Stephanie, and their past and current partners; 11 grandchildren six boys and five girls and their partners; and one great-grandson.


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