Harold Walden Gaylor, born July 9th 1929, slipped from this world surrounded by love from his family & friends on June 25th 2015, following a long illness.
Hal studied music at McGill University in his native Montreal. He met and married Evelyn Benz in 1955, and moved to New York where he began a long and successful career as a Jazz bassist. He worked with such artists as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Chico Hamilton, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Oscar Peterson, and Charlie Parker as well as many others.
Due to a hearing loss, Hal retired from his music in 1996 and became an addictions counselor and hypnotherapist. Always a prolific artist, he created many paintings and portraits as well as designing several buildings. In 2012 he received the Hudson Valley Jazz Fest Life Time Achievement Award.
Hal was seen by his family and friends as loving, charming, whimsical, and stubborn, with an incredible sense of humor. “He always marched to a different drummer.” His personality was magnetic, drawing friends and strangers alike. He was “a real force of nature” and a true artist in every sense of the word, not just a dreamer but a doer and teacher. Extremely self directed Hal always wanted to leave things better than he found them. He had an adventurous spirit and lived on the cutting edge.
He will forever be remembered by his wife, Evelyn, daughter Stacy, son Jordan and his wife Patti. As well as his grandchildren, Jordan, Katherine, Victoria, Brenda, Donovan, Luna and his nieces and nephews. He predeceased by his grandson Jordan Cody Beste and his sister Betty.
A memorial will be held in celebration of Hal's life on July 9th, which would have been his 86th birthday, at Applebee-McPhillips funeral home Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY, from 5 – 8 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Wallkill River School for the Hal Gaylor Memorial Fund for teen artists.
Donations can be made online or mailed to Wallkill River School, 232 Ward St. Montgomery, NY, 12549.
A memorial exhibit of Hal's work is scheduled for February 2016.