OFFICER JESSE C. CANALE
SDPD 05/16/1941 - 09/01/1951
1915 - 05/31/1992
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Jesse C. Canale, a police officer in the 1940’s who later served as chief deputy county coroner, died Sunday at Kaiser Hospital of heart failure. He was 77 and lived in Clairemont.
A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Canale joined the San Diego Police Department in the early 1940’s. When WWII began, he joined the Marines and saw action in Guam, the Marshall Islands, Saipan and Okinowa.
He left the police department in 1951 and was appointed deputy county coroner, rising to chief deputy county coroner in the mid 1950’s.
In the summer of 1959, Mr. Canale resigned as chief deputy coroner after the grand jury reported on the private sale of photographs by three coroner’s deputies. He explained the actions at the time by saying he didn’t think they did anything wrong as they has used their own camera equipment. He returned to work as a deputy coroner following a 90 day suspension. The following year he requested, and was given, a demotion after asking for a new job as an estate investigator. He said then that he was tired of the turmoil in the coroner’s office and wanted to work a 40 hour week instead of the 100 plus hours a week he was working or on call.
He retired from the public administrator’s staff in 1978, and later took a part time job as an attorney’s investigator. But the $3000 he earned placed him in a higher tax bracket, so he quit, figuring he was working for nothing.
He switched hats again, this time trading his investigator’s cap for a chef’s hat and apron, cooking for free at the Mission Valley Masonic center.
Mr. Canale, president of the San Diego Orchard Society in 1985, was recognized as one of Southern California’s foremost authorities on the cymbidium, a tropical Asiatic orchid. He often taught free classes.
Survivors include his wife Virginia; a stepson, Richard Peterson of San Diego; two grandchildren; seven great grandchildren and a brother, Charles of San Marino. Burial will be in North Hollywood.