Sunday, March 13, 2016

Beloved Guelph Bluesman Mo' Kauffey Passes

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of beloved Guelph Bluesman, Mo Kauffey.  He lost his courageous battle to lung cancer on Saturday, March 12, 2016.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Born Gary W. Wickizer in Colorado, he had been performing since 1976 and took the moniker of Mo' Kauffey in the late 90s.  He started travelling to Ontario to visit Rosita, who would go on to become his devoted wife.  Luckily, he decided to stay and entertain us for many years.

Click here for his obituary.

Click here for the Toronto Moon story on his passing

His wife put the following on Facebook.

Dear friends, it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I am writing to you. Gary or Mo' Kauffey as the music world knows him, left us last night after a brave and courageous fight with cancer. He went peacefully here at home, as per his wishes, with myself, his sister Joyce and our wonderful pillar of support Cecile by his side. Although he could not speak he knew he was surrounded by love and totally aware of all who came to see him. He leaves behind a wonderful group of people that are more than friends to him and myself, they are family who made his heart sing and his smile brighter especially when it came to music.

It made him so very happy back in November to have his other siblings Noma and Terry (Tina) here for a visit and his daughter Krista in February.

There are no funeral arrangements as per his wishes. He will be cremated and take his final journey home to be in the mountains. In September there will be a tree planting ceremony on the grounds of the University of Guelph. When I get information closer to the event I will put it out for all to know. I am sure there will be a celebration of his life arranged by his peers and I look forward to being there when it happens. Also there will be a Guest Book shortly via the Funeral Home where condolences can be left. I will post as soon as they send it to me.

I will close with with his daily greeting to me........"Good morning tootie, we love us!"


A note from Lou, our blogger:  "I was blessed to go from a fan to a friend shortly after I started the Hamilton Blues Lovers.  I will miss his laid-back attitude, his beautiful smile and  immense talent.  Rest in peace my friend."

Here are some online reactions:

Duane Rutter:

I am heartbroken. I just learned of the death of my dear friend and musical brother Mo Kauffey .... no words. I loved him dearly and will miss him forever.

Dan Walsh:

Mo' had one of the most laid back vibes of any musician I know. And I loved him dearly for that. I feel very very lucky that I got to talk to and assist Mo at the Dunfield Theatre for the Sound Of Cambridge show back on Feb 21. Had I known that was the last time I would see him, I would have hugged him wayyyy longer than I did.

RIP Mo. Yer gonna be missed man...

Kent MacMillan:

My dearest friend Mo' Kauffey (Gary W. Wickizer), you were all at once my music teacher, partner in crime and so much more. You will always be an inspiration to me every time I pick up my guitar to channel what it means to be human, through these musical filters. Your passing will leave a void in many of our lives, yet your smile, warm heart, laughter and love will stay with us forever. I am eternally grateful for the moments we spent together sharing the stage during the hundreds of shows we played and the hundreds of moments away from the stage. May the peace that you brought to the world, be the peace that rests with you forever my friend........

Peter Temple:

I will always treasure the times we had playing together, as well as the discussions we had on many topics that we considered important. Mo had strong convictions on many issues, and I respected his point of views. This came through in his song writing. He was very subtle, as well as maintaining a strong sense of humor. He will be truly missed by the people he touched in his life. While Mo never had a lot of extra money, he was one of the richest men I knew. RIP Mo. What you taught us will live on. Your spirit will always be there, especially when we play. Never forgotten. Cheers for Mo

Jesse Parent: 

Thanks for being as cool, genuine, and inspiring as you were. 

Joni NehRita

Every time we saw each other there was a smile, a warm hug and a kind word...and music. He was deeply loved by this community and will be sorely missed.

With sadness in my heart I bid adieu to a wonderful friend, musician and mischief maker Gary W. Wickizer aka Mo' Kauffey. It was an absolute pleasure having had you in my life....the music, the originality, the pureness of heart, the smiles, the whit, the laughter. See you on the other side my friend. Peace be with you always!!!!

JT Sunden wrote this beautiful poem in his honour

I ain't no conductor
But I have one more for this train
He don't need a ticket
I've got one more for this train
I can't see him now
But his light is just the same

Get me some coffee
And bring me his guitar
I need Mo' Kauffey
And bring me his guitar
This train is leaving
But he is right here in my heart

He used to say
"Whatcha wonna do?"
He used to sing
Whatcha Gonna Do
I still don't know why
Charlie hates the blues
I'd sit next to him
And play to that Cheshire Moon
I loved to sit next to him
And play that Cheshire Moon
"I am a slow cooker" he would tell me
And he'd play Peace for My Baby, too

These days sometimes I''m so happy
I just sing
He'd sing "Sometimes I'm so happy
I just sing."
He taught me I'm just a plow man
And whatever happens is the thing

So now, I ain't no conductor
But I have one more for this train
He don't need a ticket
I've got one more for this train
I can't see him now
But his light is just the same ... see that rose?

We will post up more information as it becomes available.

Below are performances from his Hamilton fundraiser.  Click here for pictures from this event.

More videos from this show: Ambre McLeanKent MacMillanWill Gillespie, Duane Rutter & Greg Brisco

Blast from the Past: Mo' Kauffey on Barber Shop Podcast

Links: Mo KauffeyMore Mo' Kauffey Stories, Videos above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

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1 comment:

  1. Gary was always happy regardless. Gentle and kind. His passion for music soothed your soul.
    This was a song he made for his wife Rosita. He never performed it live. He allowed me to record it while at there home, and post it.
    I am honored, and grateful to have shared friendship with Gary and I will miss him dearly.
    Gary was always happy regardless. Gentle and kind. His love for music soothed your soul.
    Peace be with you Gary.

    This was a song Gary performed for the Tribute to Mississippi John Hurt Tribute Galt Little Theater March 24 2007 when we met. "Loving Spoonful"