Obituary: Danny Hinzo

Grandfather, sign writer, songwriter, musician 

Danny Hinzo died the evening of November 8 at the age of 84.

Danny was born on March 21, 1939 in Los Angeles to Andrew Hinzo and Theresa Reyes. One of 12 siblings, he grew up with a strong sense of pride in his family and a devotion to the arts. In his teenage years he was a singer in a doo-wop group by the name of Kenny Loran and the Laurels, who were signed to Capital Records. The group saw early success, performing with the likes of Ritchie Valens and Sam Cooke, and were featured on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.” He would later pursue his musical passion as a drummer and percussionist with a host of bands, including Fever and The Third Wish.

Having come from an artistic background, he eventually reunited with his original love of painting. He embarked on a career as a sign writer and sign writer supervisor, working on feature films and television shows for Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros., among other production companies. Over more than 25 years his art was embedded in shows such as “Father Dowling Mysteries,” “Magnum P.I.,” “JAG,” “NCIS,” and feature films including “The Untouchables,” “Harlem Nights,” and “Forever Young,” which included scenes filmed in Claremont.

In retirement, music and art remained at the forefront of his life. He became a staple of the Claremont Village community, from busking on the sidewalks with his guitar, to painting vivid seasonal windows at Espiau’s restaurant, his art had many admirers. The entrance of the Village Grille remains emblazoned with his 911 memorial of an Eagle in front of the American Flag to this day. In the banquet room of the Grille, you can also find his tribute mural which he painted in honor of his late friend Ron Coglietti, who owned and operated the restaurant with his wife Sandy.

“He was a proud member of the Claremont community for over 30 years and his impact on the Claremont Village will truly be missed,” his family shared.

Danny Hinzo is survived by his daughter Lori Directo, son Chris Hinzo, daughter Lisa Hinzo, and son Joey Hinzo.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, January 14 at Todd Memorial Chapel, 570 N. Garey Ave. Pomona, CA 91767.


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