Dennis Thomas, one of the founding members of Kool and the Gang, died in his sleep Saturday at home in Montclair, New Jersey at the age of 70.
Also known as “Dee Tee,” Thomas was born on February 9th, 1951 in Orlando. He made his name playing alto sax, flute and percussion. Thomas also served as the master of ceremonies on stage at Kool and the Gang shows and he was their wardrobe stylist.
Early in the group’s history, Thomas was also the “budget hawk.” He literally carried Kool and the Gang’s earnings in a paper bag in the bell of his horn.
Thomas’ last show with Kool and the Gang was July 4th at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Thomas is survived by his wife Phynjuar Saunders Thomas, a daughter, two sons, grandchildren, two sisters, a brother and many nieces and nephews.
Thomas was preceded in death by his mother, sister and two daughters, Tracy Jackson and actress Michelle Thomas of The Cosby Show, Family Matters and The Young and the Restless.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]