Harold “Hal” E. Wetherwax, formerly of Burbank, passed away on July 17 at his home at Silverstrand Beach near Oxnard. He was 89.
Born on July 13, 1924 in Bayonne, N.J., his family moved to Burbank while he was a teenager. He graduated from Burbank High School in 1942. At 17 he joined the Navy and was in the admiral’s band stationed in Trinidad. After the war he returned to L.A. where he formed a jazz trio that played at clubs and was the house band for the “Ralph Edwards Variety Show” on NBC.
For 60 years he taught hundreds of Burbank children music at St. Francis and St. Robert Bellarmine schools as well as privately in his home studio. He directed The Reflectors band, made up of school students, that played weekly on the Burbank Golden Mall.
He was a life member of Musicians Union Local #47.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years Virginia; three sons Michael, Peter and Randall Wetherwax and daughter Leslie Davenport; three daughters-in-law Lynn Wetherwax, Carla Bengtson and Lydia Wetherwax; four grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, make donations to the Hal Wetherwax Instrumental Music Fund through the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, by mail to 348 E. Olive Ave., Suite D, Burbank, 91502 or online at