Saturday, April 8, 2023

Where's Fred? Back home bidding his brother a sad goodbye

Fred returned to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, this week to memorialize his only brother, Ronald "Ron" or "Ron T" Wesley, October 20, 1947-March 29, 2023.

The brothers were close throughout life, and Fred writes in his book "Hit Me Fred: Recollections of a Sideman" of how his brother traveled to Los Angeles in the 1980s to rescue him from the abyss of cocaine addiction into which he had fallen. Fred lived with him for a time, rehabbing at his home in Denver, Colorado, where they jogged together and co-produced Fred's only straight-ahead jazz album, "To Someone," which still is Fred's favorite. The title track is a composition of E.B. Coleman, the junior high music teacher who had a profound impact on both brothers.

Ron was an avid jazz fan who was a DJ at WGOK in Mobile, Alabama, and KDKO in Denver, Colorado.  In Phoenix founded his own jazz internet station, which still can be heard online at 

A veteran of the Vietnam War, he moved to Phoenix after retiring in 2009 from the City and County of Denver's Office of Economic Opportunity.  Experiencing numerous health issues, he returned to Alabama two weeks before his passing, staying with sister Janice and her family in Montgomery while making plans for a permanent move.  During his last days, he enjoyed watching sports on television alongside his brother and brother-in-law Chris.  

He was much loved and will be missed by Fred and other survivors including a daughter, Stephanie, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. (Photos by Shana Wesley).

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