|Birth: ||Mar. 8, 1915|
|Death: ||Dec. 5, 2005|
COST, John -
A COURTROOM LEGEND AND FAMILY MAN John Alan Cost, a legend in San Francisco Peninsula area courtrooms as a hard-hitting defense attorney who spoke with such a staccato, rapid-fire delivery he left court reporters begging him to slow down, died at the age of 90 in a Watsonville, CA, hospital on December 5, 2005 from complications after a broken hip.
Mr. Cost was born in Lebanon, OR, on March 8, 1915 to Ralph and Grace Cost, his father a one-time Idaho cowboy turned certified public accountant and his mother a former traveling actress who would rise to the highest ranks in the Daughters of the Nile.
He had two older sisters, Toni and Eileen, both now deceased.
Mr. Cost grew up in the tranquil surroundings of Woodland, CA, became an Eagle Scout, graduated in 1933 from woodland High School and would attend for one semester at what was then known as Cal Aggies in Davis, CA, before flunking out.
He apparently spent more time as a starting guard on the football team than hitting the books. But he loved to tell how the Aggies were beaten 58-0 in their only appearance in Stanford Stadium at the hands of the mighty Stanford Indian gridiron team. Mr. Cost then accepted a trial semester at Santa Clara University like a drowning man seizing a life preserver.
He pulled himself up by his bootstraps, graduated from S.C.U. in 1937, and, then went on to Santa Clara Law School, earning a law degree in 1940.
While attending Santa Clara, Mr. Cost began dating local Woodland girl, Jean Elizabeth Thompson, who had distinguished herself at Stanford University as a French and Spanish major and member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and would graduate from Stanford in 1939, then go on to a brief career as a social worker in Sacramento.
The two married on December 7, 1940 in Ohio as Mr. Cost was en rout to Washington, DC, to accept an appointment as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The newlyweds were first stationed in McAlester, OK, before moving on to San Mateo, CA.
On their first wedding anniversary, the couple was happily picnicking in Half Moon Bay, oblivious to the attack on Pearl Harbor earlier that morning. Mr. and Mrs. Cost would soon move to San Carlos, CA, where they would raise four sons: Jud, Jeff, Jim and John in their St. Francis Way residence.
In 1946, Mr. cost left the F.B.I. to take the bar exam and begin a 52 year career as an attorney, specializing in high-profile murder cases when they came along (much lees frequently in those days).
Mr. Cost was best known for his work in the acquittal of Sally Ohliffe, a Redwood City woman who shot and killed her abusive husband in the early '60s. It was front-page headline material in the San Francisco Chronicle in those days.
At home, the man known both as Dad and Pop was a neighborhood stand-out as someone who would not only toss the football around with his boys but actually would join in their impromptu football and softball games at White Oaks Elementary School. The Turkey Bowl Thanksgiving Day football contest was an annual legend for decades.
Mr. Cost also served with distinction for years on the Sequoia Union High School Board of Trustees and as both a Cub and Boy Scout master for his sons.
After 45 years of marriage, the last 18 years vacationing in Greece, Portugal and Spain, Mrs. Cost died in 1985.
Mr. Cost would later marry June Lacy and spend the last six years of his life on a small Watsonville ranch, tending to his garden and playing with his horses and dogs.
In addition to June Lacy, he leaves behind four sons: Jud, Jeff, Jim and John; their wives, Jenifer, Patricia, Cynthia and Cindy; six grandchildren: Laura, Matt, Andy, Jesse, Alex and Kailey; and seven great-grandchildren: Clinton, Nathan, Ben, Mary, Jack, Chase and Cora.
They all miss him deeply, but look forward to a wonderful public memorial soiree to be held in Mr. Cost's honor on Monday, December 19, 2005, at 5:00 p.m. at the old Redwood City Courthouse, 777 Hamilton Street, where guests will join old ghosts at the scene of many of his previous legal triumphs.
Donations in his memory may be made to Hands On Bay Area, 330 Townsend Street, Suite 220, SF, CA 44107.
Burial: Unknown Specifically San Francisco, Ca.
Created by: a. dot of ca.
Record added: Dec 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12697516