It was made public today that Thomas Fekete, Floridian indie/surf rock band’s Surfer Blood guitarist, has died at the age of 27. Fekete had been battling an aggressive, rare form of cancer since 2015.

The sad news was shared by Jess, his wife, who said he passed away last night. His wife had been chronicling his fight against the disease on the GoFundMe page through which she had been trying to raise money to help cover his medical expenses. It is on this page that she posted the following announcement 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.

All through his ordeal, Fekete continued to make music, releasing a cassette-only LP, ‘Burner’, last December, stating about it: “Sometime between March and June of 2015 while healing from two surgeries and starting chemotherapy, I hunched over my four-track and created this disaster, no multiple takes, no expensive mics, no outside direction … just me in my bedroom with a very cheap, bare bones setup.”

Debbie Maliotaki

Below you can listen to ‘Treason’ from ‘Burner’ and ‘Island’ from Surfer Blood’s third studio album ‘1000 Palms’.