Hundreds pay tribute to an icon in the Wilmington music scene - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Hundreds pay tribute to an icon in the Wilmington music scene

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William "Paco" Strickland (1952-2013) William "Paco" Strickland (1952-2013)
Elizabeth Hufham performs with Paco's Fabulous flying Flamenco Brothers Elizabeth Hufham performs with Paco's Fabulous flying Flamenco Brothers

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of people filled Thalian Hall Saturday to honor an icon in the Wilmington music scene. William "Paco" Strickland passed away in January after battling cancer for four years.

"He was my brother he was everybody's brother," said former mayor Harper Peterson, a longtime friend of Strickland.

"Just a delightful person, so many friends so many people enjoyed knowing him," said Jerry Wine, a longtime friend.

As part of a memorial service, friends and mentees played music to honor Strickland. 

"He cared about everyone and gave everything he had in music and in life," said Peterson.  The host of the syndicated radio show, "The Flamenco Cafe" and longtime musician helped to introduce Wilmington to Flamenco guitar music.

"That brought a different type of music to the town we had never had before," said Wine. Strickland played downtown often, and spent about a decade playing in Peterson's former restaurant.     

"He played in our restaurant he played in our home, he was a joy not only his music but his personality, he was a true asset in our community," said Peterson. Friends say Strickland was passionate about running and surfing as well.

"I couldn't keep up with him on a surf board," said Peterson. "I don't know how he found all the time to do everything he would do and still play in the community."

"He was one of those guys that was good at everything," said Wine.  Friends say he lived his life to the fullest and encouraged everyone else to do the same.

Stickland leaves behind his wife, Connie.

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