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WILMINGTON, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — William "Paco" Strickland, a flamenco guitarist and a familiar presence in Wilmington night spots and on local airwaves for more than two decades, died Monday night at his home after a long battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 60.

"Paco quietly and peacefully passed while sleeping next to me," wrote his wife, Connie Nelson, in a Facebook posting Tuesday afternoon. "He wants you to remember him playing his guitar and surfing Big Blue."

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  • Erlkoenig

    A true talent. We are fortunte to have had William live amoung us and perform for us.

  • Lynn Van Der Molen Metzger

    Connie, We offer our deepest condolences. Paco was such a talented musician and a joy to meet. Keep the faith! You will meet again! Lynn and Katelyn Metzger

  • Vog46

    I am so sorry for OUR shared loss. Yours is a more intimate loss, and ours is a loss from the enjoyment that Paco gave, willingly, to us.
    The world is a lesser place because of his passing.

    With warmest thoughts and regards,


  • Janeine Van Der Molen

    We also saw Paco when we moved to Kure Beach in 1994. He was playing at “Tomatoes” and we found out his mother lived in Westerville, not far from where we came from. My husband and I so enjoyed him every time we saw him play, and there were many times in the 12 years we lived there. My husband passed away in 2006 and I moved back to Ohio and have followed the postings by and about Paco on line. You have my deep and sincere sympathy, Connie.

  • Guest461

    Paco was one of the very first artists I saw when I moved here. Walking past the Icehouse with some friends back in ’94 and I heard his music. Already being a fan of Flamenco and making attempts at practicing it, I had to go find that music. I’ve never forgotten that night or any other that I watched and listened to him play.

    Paco was also a very accomplished athlete as well as a musician. I had locker right next to his at the YMCA. I was devastated to hear the “fun police” had come for him several years back. It was a long and arduous battle with little chance of ever winning

    The “alien” is such a cruel and non-descriminating thing to face. He spares very few.

    Connie, I am so very sorry for you loss. I’m also sorry that the rest of us lose out too. Nobody can ever take his place. My deepest condolances and prayers are there for you.


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