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#368400 02/22/10 03:32 PM
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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
Frankie Rhys

Last night we ran a story on the plight of one of Belize’s most gifted musicians, Frankie Rhys. It revealed for many of us a touching tale, about the undying commitment of a faithful wife, coupled with the love, respect and support of a cross section of local musicians and artists, who rallied to his side in his time of need. They planned on paying him a tribute at a benefit concert scheduled at the Bliss tonight. However, we regretfully report, that Frank Rhys, the man that had become a familiar figure in the local jazz music scene, and in whose honor the concert was being held, succumbed early this morning to his illness, and now, what was billed as a Benefit Concert in his honor, has now turned into a Tribute and Celebration of his life. Here’s more.

Jim McFadzean Reporting,
The 61 year old Rhys who was diagnosed back in 1986 with diabetes, was to be honored at the benefit gala, billed: ”An Evening with the Stars” a fundraising event to help pay for mounting medical bills.” According to Krem DJ, Tony Wright who heads the Association for Belizean Artists and the organizer of the benefit concert, Rhys’ passing now gives added meaning and appreciation for tonight’s event at the Bliss.

Tony Wright, Organizer
“Tonight what we do instead now is celebrate the life and times that Frankie did and what he left behind. We want the people to know about it and so we still have the concert going on and we are expecting the people will come out tonight because apart from that Diana still needs the assistance, she has a lot of bills and different things, and more bills will be adding up so we still doing the show. Nothing basically changes so tonight we celebrate the life and times that Frankie, the man and his music, the school teacher, the activist and all the different things that he has left behind with us.”

Rhys was a retired teacher and a contributing writer to the Amandala newspaper. He was one of only a few local jazz musicians and aficionados, having hosted the weekly 2 hour KREM music show: “Jazz on a Sunday Morning.” He is survived by his wife of 33 years Diana and three children. Funeral arrangements for Rhys are being planned for next Saturday in Dangriga.

Feb. 19th Channel 7 News
Marty #368401 02/22/10 03:33 PM
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Marty #368432 02/22/10 08:19 PM
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Brilliant and very nice man, great musician, loyal Belizean - stunning talented wife Diana is a songstress/goddess of soul ------ Frankie was Harvard educated and came home to be a teacher of history in high school and a player of magic music to us all. This man could THINK - as well as make music from the heavens.

Last edited by Diane Campbell; 02/22/10 08:20 PM.
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Musician and Teacher Frankie Rhys passed away early Friday morning and that very night – Belize’s finest performers and players of instruments filled the Bliss Center with his memory in a moving remembrance concert. Proceeds from the event, dubbed an evening with the stars were handed over to his wife Diane Rhys this morning at the Bliss Center. The funeral has been planned for Wednesday.

Channel 7

Marty #368971 02/27/10 10:24 AM
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A Jazzmaster passes

Frankie Rhys was a virtuoso on the saxophone.
Reknowned local jazz master, musician, school teacher and activist Frankie Rhys, 62, died at his home on South Street in Belize City at 12:30 AM Friday, February 19.

Diana Rhys, his wife for over 35 years, called the paramedics when he began to choke and he could not breathe . She said he choked to death. Doctors declared the cause of death to be chronic complications from diabetes.

Diana said Frankie had suffered with diabetes for more than 25 years, and had developed complications.

He was unable to talk, because the nerves controlling his vocal chords were damaged.

He also had difficulty in swallowing because the nerves that controlled those muscles in his throat were also damaged. The only way he could ingest food was from a tube to be inserted directly into his stomach, through which he was fed liquid food.

This affected his nutrition severely and his weight dwindled from 260 pounds to 119 pounds.

These changes depressed him, because he could not speak, he was being fed through tubes and no longer had the strength to play his music, which was the love of his life.

He was soon so weak, he was unable to walk, because the nerves in his legs were damaged and he was confined to his bed or a wheelchair.

But he remained in good spirits and was happy up to last Thursday February 18, the day before he died, Diana said.

She had taken him into their living room and had begun to answer correspondence on his computer.

He later began to feel tired and asked to be taken to his bed. He began to vomit shortly after and began to gasp for breath.

Diana said it was then she knew he was dying. She called her neighbor who then called the police and they came to see him. He still had a heartbeat, so they did not take him to the hospital, and instead told her to call an ambulance.

The ambulance came, and the paramedics examined and told her he was dead.They could not take him to the hospital, and she should call the police.

When she called the police and informed them of Frankie's death, they told her they could not come right then until seven the following morning

Diana said that she slept for the last time with Frankie's body beside her until the morning when the police took him to the morgue.

The Reporter

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