Thomas Fekete, guitarist for the alternative rock band Surfer Blood, passed away last night after a months-long battle with cancer. He was 27 years old.
Fekete was diagnosed early last year with Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He and his wife, Jessica, launched a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses last year, sharing the news with friends and fans. His announcement came a month before Surfer Blood’s release of their third and most recent studio album, 1000 Palms, with a statement that he would be leaving the band.
A founding member of the Florida-based Surfer Blood, Fekete released a solo album in December called Burner available only on cassette to raise funds. In November, Surfer Blood and other bands including Yo La Tengo, Real Estate and Guided by Voices auctioned off previously unreleased songs on 7-inch records to help with the cause.
Jessica posted the news of his passing on the GoFundMe page this morning:
Our sweet Thomas passed on last night, peacefully in his sleep, holding my hand. With one last sigh, he let go of the burden of pain and suffering that he has been bravely carrying for so long. I am full of comfort knowing that he is now free, and long for the day I get to be with him again.
May we all carry on Thomas’ legacy by being the very best versions of ourselves for the rest of our days, and do as much as we can to help others in his honor. If we can strive to be half the person Thomas was, this world will be a better place.
I plan to host a celebration of his life here on the beach in South Florida, the first weekend of July, just after his birthday on 1st. I will share specific details as soon as possible. I invite anyone who holds Thomas in their hearts to please join me in celebrating him.
It was an absolute privilege to stand next to Thomas and face this monster head on. Even as his body failed him, his mind and spirit soldiered on. Never was there a day that we weren’t filled with hope. Never was there a day that he even considered throwing in the towel. He was the kind hearted, funny, fearless, magnetic beam of light you all knew him to be up until his very last breath.
Thomas John Fekete, I love you and live for you. Nothing will make me more proud than being able to call myself your wife.
Now, my beautiful angel, go find Bowie and jam.
Surfer Blood has also posted a statement to their official Facebook page:
I love you Thom. Thank you for convincing me to leave Florida to play shows, and for playing music with me for six years. I’ve never met anyone like you and I know I never will again. I don’t know where or who I would be without you, and I know I’ll miss you everyday.