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They Dug Rock ‘n’ Roll Music / Nick Ehrhardt

They Dug Rock ‘n’ Roll Music

The rock music world lost many notable players in recent weeks, including some famous musicians, disc jockeys and music critics.

Here are some not-so-famous recently deceased individuals, who were touched by rock ‘n’ roll:

Rev. Dr. Gordon E. Weightman, a United Methodist pastor who died June 14 at age 54, loved music. According to his obituary, published in the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Weightman was once principal trumpet in the Oral Roberts University Orchestra and “enjoyed playing at church services and especially at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.”

He also “was a member of the Dynamics, a local rock band that toured during the late 1970s.”

Originally from Poland, Chester Walter Bilski, 61, of Williamsburg, Virginia, “learned English in his teens in order to understand the Rock & Roll song lyrics of the day,” according to the obituary in the Daily Press following his death on June 1.

“A guitar was never far from his reach and he loved to strum at any chance he got.”

The many and varied pursuits of Christen F. “Chris” Howell, who died June 7 at age 59, are detailed in his obit in the Lake City (Florida) Reporter.

“Again becoming restless for new challenges, he moved to Caracas, Venezuela, in 1981 to help organize the rock and roll band ‘Fornax,’ playing guitar, designing posters, orchestrating the light show, as well as composing much of their music. While there, he perfected his Spanish, singing many songs in both Spanish and English.”

Elks district director Fred Kulick, 71, satisfied his music-making inclinations as a teenager.

According to the obit in the Appleton (Wisconsin) Post-Crescent, “Fred loved playing drums in his high school years and played in several dance bands, ending his career as a drummer for the Rock and Roll Starlights.”

Lawrence A. Anzuoni Jr., who died June 20 at age 58, waited until his later years to join a band.

Anzuoni, president of Brush Hill Transportation Co. Inc., “recently rediscovered his passion for music and brought to fruition his dream of being a musician and formed a successful cover rock band with several friends The Knuckleheads,” according to his obit in the Wicked Local of Plymouth, Massachusetts.


This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.