Jacksonville, FL (January 23, 2018) If the mark of a person’s life is the legacy left behind, attorney Fred C. Gazaleh undoubtedly led a fulfilling and meaningful life. More than 50 family members and former colleagues gathered in the City Council Chambers at the January 23 council meeting to witness the presentation of a framed resolution to his family marking his life and recent passing.
Bill 2017-611 was introduced by District 11 City Council Member Danny Becton. Following the reading of the resolution Becton and others spoke of Mr. Gazaleh.
Mr. Gazaleh was the Director of the Felony Division for the Duval County Public Defender’s Office. Having moved here shortly after his birth, he made a name for himself as a skilled attorney who worked to defend the accused. He graduated from Lee High School and earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Florida.
He first worked as a public defender from 1983 to 1988 before entering private practice. He returned to the Public Defender’s office in 2009 where he worked until his death. He was cited as mentor to young attorneys. It was a role he readily accepted.
He was active in the community, offering his time to Jacksonville Legal Aid. He was honored by JALA for the pro bono services he provided to the homeless at the Sulzbacher Center.
Council Member Becton’s remarks for the occasion are as follows:
“My fellow Council Members, I want to thank you for joining me in this resolution to honor the life of Fred Gazaleh or Freddie G, as friends called him.
Fred Gazaleh was a special individual who touched the lives of so many and was a true public servant within our city for which we are here to honor tonight.
He and his extended family throughout Jacksonville is quite large and I would not be surprised if everyone here knows a member of that family.
For me, the connection to this family goes back to my roots in Georgia. Delivering newspapers to relatives, the Bajalia’s. In Jacksonville, my friendship with Fred’s cousins Freddie Kazaleh who owns Chow Down Alley, a restaurant in District 11, my neighbor Norm Bateh and many of you all know Ron Salem, Michael and Abe Bateh.
I mention these connections because almost ever since I have been in Jacksonville, this family has been part of my life, in friendship. Fred Gazaleh was part of that circle who was one of those individuals that I got to know and appreciate as a “Big Teddy Bear” on life.
What has made Fred even more special is his time in the Public Defender’s Office, which he mentored and touched the lives of so many.
As I look back on his life, the only blemish on Fred’s resume is he was a huge GATOR Fan (laugh as CM Becton is a Georgia supporter) beyond that, it is my pleasure to have introduced and tonight honored Fred Gazaleh’s life with this resolution.”
In attendance for this resolution were Fred’s four sisters: Gloria, Deloris, Miranda and Dina.
Brother in law Lamar Kaleel and Public Defender Charlie Cofer spoke on behalf of the family.