Joseph Schloss

Joseph David "Joe" Schloss Sr.

Friday, February 12th, 1937 - Sunday, February 16th, 2020
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On Sunday, February 16, 2020, Judge Joseph (Joe) Schloss, loving husband and father of four children, passed away peacefully at the age of 83. At the time of his death, he was employed as a United States Administrative Law Judge. Joe was born on February 12, 1937 in Chicago,Il to George and Rebeca Schloss. On November 7, 1961, he married Leah Rae Townsend. Joe is survived by his wife Leah of 58 years, sons David (Daryn), Dan (Jodi), Dennis (Heidi), daughter Jodi (Chad) Villareal, sister Rebbeca Melbourne, several loving grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and many nieces nephews and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, father George in 1959, Mother Rebecca Hanson (Frederick David) in 1990. Joe was a loving father, husband, grandfather, friend, cherished role model and mentor to many. Following early military service, he entered into a career in law enforcement serving in a variety of positions and assignments over the years. He received his law degree from Western University School of Law during this time as well. Joe was also a Professor, teaching criminal justice, police academy courses. He practiced law for several years in both private practice and as an Assistant District Attorney. He reengaged his calling to military service and entered into the California State Military Reserve’s 4th Brigade, eventually retiring with the rank of Colonel. Joe had a deep passion for nature’s beauty, his country, and music. He loved touring with his wife Leah and family over the years. He was a dedicated public servant, spending over 60 years in government and public safety services. With time spent in both law enforcement and as a volunteer firefighter, Joe helped and saved many people during his career. He was known for his quick wit, silly jokes and constant attempts to sing. His loving, kind and compassionate spirit touched all who came to know or meet him. Joe was a patriot with an uncompromising sense of duty, justice, and love for his country. Memorial funeral services for Joe will be at Murrieta Valley Funeral Home in Murrieta on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm. A military service memorial will be held at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 2:15 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the San Diego Zoo in memory of Joe Schloss, P.O. Box 120551 San Diego, CA 92112, or online at
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  • Service

    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Thursday, March 12th, 2020 11:00am
    Murrieta Valley Funeral Home
    24651 Washington Ave
    MURRIETA, CA 92562
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reception to Follow at Central Park Community Clubhouse
  • Interment

    Riverside National Cemetery
    22495 Van Buren Blvd
    RIVERSIDE, CA 92518
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A Committal Service will be held for Mr.Schloss on March 13, 2020 at 2:15 in the afternoon.
  • Reception

    Central Park Community Clubhouse
    38784 Park Promenade
    MURRIETA, CA 92563
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    March 12, 2020

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Private Condolence

Lisa Renee Villarreal

Posted at 07:41pm
My first nephew Chad Villarreal married Joe and Leah's lovely daughter Jodi twenty-five years ago. In that time, Joe and Leah have been the epitome of kindness and grace to our family. From the delicious ham he would bring to family dinners, to the perfect graveside service site for my dad's own military funeral, Joe made sure things were best in class. You could tell that he wanted everyone to succeed and be the best at whatever they did. He treated everyone with dignity and respect and will be greatly missed.

Lisa Renee Villarreal

Posted at 07:09pm
May this tree bring strength and vitality to all the lives it touches, just like Joe did!
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Joseph Schloss — Plant a Tree Now

Mike Richardson

Posted at 10:48am
When I arrived to the office as a newly minted Administrative Law Judge, unfamiliar with the Social Security Hearing Office environment and life in the civilian workforce in general, Judge Schloss took me under his wing and helped me transition from life as a career military man to that of a Social Security Judge. I didn't ask him for help - I didn't need to - he saw the need, and jumped on the chance to help me in this difficult transition period. He became my mentor, and my friend, and I am deeply indebted to him. He was truly an inspirational man: a great American patriot; a loyal and loving family man; a sage jurist; and a steadfast friend to many. Rest in peace Joe.

Heather Klunk

Posted at 12:38pm
I was Judge Schloss' senior case technician in the San Bernardino office during 2010 and 2011. I learned so very much from him. I had the utmost respect for him and I worked diligently each day for his approval. He always showed his appreciation for hard work by taking his staff to the Elephant Bar. I distinctly remember how in love he was with his wife...he spoke so highly of her and his children. He was so honored to cook for them and care for them. He was a stand up guy, the kind you don't find too often nowadays. He will be dearly missed and forever remembered with honor. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family.

Mary French

Posted at 11:23am
My deepest sympathies to Leah and the whole family. Joe was an all around great guy -- a devoted family man and a dedicated judge who worked incredibly hard throughout his career. As an ALJ until last year, I had the good fortune to work with and stay in touch with Joe even after I departed from government service for the private sector. Loyal, hardworking, intelligent, reliable and trustworthy are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about Joe. His family meant the world to him -- they were his pride and joy and he talked about them in glowing terms. He maintained his independence as a judge and adhered to the highest principles of due process. His work ethic and record of public service are unique and remarkable and he will be remembered by all who knew him.

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