John A. (Jack) Gillean, a former newsman and teacher who served as director of public information for the Los Angeles Unified School District and president of the National School Public Relations Assn., has died at his Carpinteria residence. He was 73.
Gillean, who had been a longtime Woodland Hills resident, died Tuesday of a heart ailment, said Eva Hain, director of public information for the district.
Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, Gillean came to the United States as a child and graduated from Franklin High School in Los Angeles. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from USC in 1940 and worked at a variety of newspaper-related jobs, including editor of the Palo Verde Valley Times in Blythe, Calif. Gillean served in the Army during World War II, achieving the rank of captain, and later edited and published the Canoga Park Tribune and the Reseda News.
From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, he taught English and journalism at Pierce College and served as its director of public relations. In 1952, Gillean became coordinator of public information for the L.A. school district, later becoming the department's director. Upon his retirement in 1972, he moved to Carpinteria where he served as a school board member from 1977 to 1983.
Gillean served as president of the National School Public Relations Assn. in 1970-71 and had helped to found its Southern California chapter. He was a member of the California Teachers Assn.; Council of Directors and Supervisors; American Assn. of School Administrators; Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi; American Institute of Journalists; Los Angeles Press Club; Publicity Club of Los Angeles and Public Relations Society of America.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Gillean; a brother and a sister.
A graveside service is planned today at 2 p.m. at Carpinteria Cemetery, 1500 Cravens Lane. Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels in Santa Barbara is handling the arrangements. Donations can be made in Gillean's name to the American Heart Assn. or the American Cancer Society.