Casual gathering for Halal
The June 5 death of Magisterial District Judge Robert Halal, who served the communities of Whitehall and Coplay, stunned not only the community but the region, and folks came together Saturday evening at Egypt Memorial Park to celebrate his life and legacy.
More than a thousand people waited in line to offer condolences to Halal’s wife, Denise, and other members of the family. The line at times stretched from just inside the park to the pavilion. Some waited an hour to talk to the family about “Bobby,” his engaging smile and his passion to put others before his own welfare.
In keeping with Halal’s signature temperament of enjoying the company of everyone he came into contact with, the celebration of life at the park was casual, just the way he led his life.
In attendance were judges from the Lehigh County bench, Whitehall Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. and township commissioners, District Attorney Jim Martin, state Rep. Daniel McNeill, state Sen. Lisa Boscola, Lehigh County Sheriff Joseph Hanna, area constables and police officers, bikers who shared with Halal the love of riding and longtime friends from his boyhood in Egypt. Many ventured to a table at which numerous photos of Halal and family members were displayed. Another table held floral arrangements.
Restaurants provided hot and cold food, fruit, salads and such, set on tables in the pavilion for the guests.
“He was a great guy, a kind man to everyone,” said Josephine Galluzzo, a longtime friend to Halal and his wife.
Dominick Galluzzo added, “We just vacationed together two weeks ago in Aruba, our wives and Bobby and me.”
Galluzzo’s Palace Pizza & Restaurant was among the eateries providing the bountiful amount of food.
McNeill said Halal’s death was “a big loss to the community.”
“He was liked by anyone who came to know him,” McNeill added.
Dennis “Dexter” Knauss, former president of Egypt Memorial Park, spoke of growing up with Halal.
“We grew up together here at Egypt and the park. Bobby was good at sports, everything, baseball, football, basketball,” he said. “Everyone liked Bobby.”