‘It’s just not fair’: Well-known metro musician, father of six dies of COVID-19, family says

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A metro musician that FOX4 recently introduced to viewers has died.

Family members said 65-year-old Jimmy Dykes died early Tuesday morning in intensive care at a Lee’s Summit hospital. His family said Dykes was suffering from the effects of COVID-19.

Dykes, a popular guitar teacher and musician, had been in intensive care since Nov. 5, according to his wife, Leann. During the weekend, Leann Dykes said her husband’s condition was showing progress, but then, after the weekend, he took a turn for the worse.

Dykes had been a touring guitarist for popular soul artist Oleta Adams at one point. FOX4 first interviewed Dykes in March, when he lost several priceless guitars in a music store fire.

Teaching music was the only means of contact Dykes had for his six children, four of whom still live at home. Dykes also served as music instructor and leader at a church in Lee’s Summit. 

“We have lost an amazing human being,” September Trible, a friend of the Dykes family, said Wednesday. “He always made time to talk to people, to genuinely listen and get to know them and to share his love of music. You could just feel it coming out of him.”

Dykes had become notable for his local performances across the Kansas City area, including regular stops at the Intercontinental Hotel near the Country Club Plaza. Brent Kevern said he befriended Dykes at one of those shows and learned to play guitar from Dykes. 

“He was my best friend, really,” Kevern said. “(Dykes’ passing) doesn’t set right with me. I think that really speaks to the whole COVID pandemic and what it’s doing to friends and families around the country. It’s just not fair.”

“Jimmy is a man of tremendous faith,” Trible added. “There were literally thousands of people praying for him to recover. That’s not what happened. COVID is an equal opportunity thief.”

Due to the pandemic, the Dykes family might not be able to arrange a funeral for Jimmy, since the virus tends to spread around gatherings.

Trible and Kevern said they’re grieving this loss the way Jimmy taught guitar — just taking it slow for now.

A GoFundMe page meant to help pay the family’s household bills is still in place.

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