He was known as "The Voice of Jackson County" for a half century. Family and friends say they will miss listening to veteran broadcaster Hal Comello. The 76-year-old died this week of pneumonia. Patrice Clark takes a look back at his life and legacy.
Hal Comello's distinctive voice began captivating audiences as early as the 1960's; he began his career as a disc jockey in Jackson County.
"When people were getting ready to go on the show and say I am so nervous. He said you don't have to worry about any empty time because Hal always filled it in," Lynn Rouse said.
His best friend Lynn Rouse said Comello's larger than life voice opened a lot of doors for him over the year.
"He was called on for so many civic activities, and he would sponsor and monitor debates between both parties."
Most recently, the 76-year-old hosted a local-cable talk show, which focused on community issues and events on the coast. WGUD Owner, Tim Wall produced it.
"He helped our business. I really looked forward to seeing him every Friday and I really loved him," Colleague Tim Wall said.
But know one loved and admired the veteran broadcaster more than his 11 children, including his girls.
"We would call him and ask him to use his radio voice; we were proud as a family. He was lots of fun, never strict. He should have been, but he wasn't," Comello's family said.
His loved ones say there is no doubt the devoted father, friend and TV personality will be missed, and they promise to keep his memory alive.
"He touched so many people's lives. He meant a lot to so many people, and he is truly going to be missed," Tim Wall said. "He will forever be known to me as the voice of Jackson County."
To honor Hal Comello's memory, WGUD-TV and The Bacot McCarty Foundation officials plan to give a broadcasting scholarship to a deserving high school student every year.
Visitation for the veteran broadcaster will be held Monday January 14th from 9 to 11a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Pascagoula, immediately followed by a funeral service.
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