May 14, 1914 – Dec. 25, 2018
John Edwin Danley passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Day, 2018.
For 72 years, he was the loving husband of Shirley Brann Danley. He was also a happy younger brother, a kindly older brother, a dedicated father, a story-telling grandfather, a charming great-grandfather, a steadfast uncle, an accomplished businessman and a great companion to hundreds of friends.
John was born in Santa Monica to parents Matilda Elizabeth Kayzer and Willis Wilson Danley. He had an older brother, Arthur, and a younger sister, Winifred.
He was educated at all Santa Monica schools, graduating from Santa Monica High School. He attended Santa Monica College for two years.
After one year at UCLA and five years of night school at USC, during which he worked for the Southern California Gas Co., he graduated with two degrees: banking and finance and business administration.
While attending college, he met the love of his life, Shirley Brann. They were married on July 12, 1941.
Shortly thereafter, the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred and John enlisted in the Army. He served as a lieutenant in the Army for three years at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.
Upon his discharge from the army, he returned to Santa Monica. He and his wife began building a family.
In 1945, his son, John Edwin Danley, Jr. (Jay), was born. In 1947, his daughter, Deborah Danley, was born. In 1951, his son Gregory Holmes Danley was born.
During the post-war years, John began his working career with Merle Norman Cosmetics as director of sales and, later, vice president of the company. It was a satisfying and creative relationship that would span over 65 years.
In addition, he was the director of Merle Norman Cosmetics’ annual convention and was the master of ceremonies at each of these events. As a result of these duties, he was a long-standing member of Meeting Planners of America.
John was also very invested in community service. Starting in the early 1950s, he was a member and president of the Santa Monica Junior Chamber and organized the largest square dance in America to celebrate Santa Monica’s 75th birthday.
He was a member and president of the Santa Monica Optimist Club, and a member and past president of the Santa Monica College Associates. He was active in his children’s school parent clubs.
John also was a member of the Board of Trustees for Santa Monica Hospital for over 20 years, and chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1988-1989. John and his wife were devoted members of the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church.
John was the beloved father of Jay Danley; daughter, Deborah Danley Engelien and her husband, Mark; and son Gregory Holmes Danley, and his wife Linda; five grandchildren: Allison Engelien McGugan and husband Chris, Tracy Engelien, Kevin John Engelien and wife Roslynn, Gage Dixon Danley, and Bridget Danley; great-grandchildren: Edwin Daniel McGugan, Mason Gregory McGugan and Aylie Sophia McGugan. He was the uncle to many wonderful nieces and nephews.
A memorial celebration of life will be held Saturday, January 26, at 2 p.m., with a reception following at 3 p.m. at the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, located at 15521 Sunset Blvd.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church.