HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A musical icon, beloved entertainer and ambassador of Guam has passed away.
Jimmy Dee died Thursday morning at the age of 76 surrounded by family.
His wife Jackie Flores, and their children Dr. Jim Flores and Joleen Respicio issued a statement:
“This morning, our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, James Henry Pangelinan Flores, known by most as Jimmy Dee, passed peacefully from this life, surrounded by his loved ones. While we are deeply saddened by his loss, we take comfort in knowing he now rests with the Lord. We are so grateful for the many messages of love and condolences we have already begun to receive, and we ask for your continued prayers as we get through this difficult time.”
Former Gov. Carl Gutierrez, president and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau, extended condolences to the family.
“Former first lady Geri Gutierrez and I are truly saddened by Jimmy Dee’s passing. Jimmy was my compadre and his two children, Dr. Jimmy Boy and Joleen, are our godchildren. His wife Jackie is like Geri’s younger sister,” Carl Gutierrez stated.
“He is one of the vanguards who broke open the musical talents of our people from the 1960’s to now. Jimmy was a mentor and he always wanted to reach out and help our local talent. He devoted his life to promoting Guam and developing opportunities to showcase our beautiful people and culture. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with his family.”
Speaker Therese Terlaje also issued a statement, also noting Jimmy Dee’s contributions to the island’s musical scene and culture.
"On behalf of the 36th Guam Legislature, it is with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of Mr. James “Jimmy Dee” Flores. Our prayers go out to his wife, Jackie; his son Jim, and daughter-in-law, Valerie; his daughter, Joleen; and his grandchildren, RJ and Isabella,” she stated.
“I truly believe that language and music are the best ways to preserve memories, tradition, and culture for future generations. I know that Jimmy has been cataloging some of his life’s work in recent years which is a display of CHamoru pride and his desire to share his love of Guam with the rest of the world. I am grateful for the legacy of art that he has left behind for our children and grandchildren to share.”
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio also sent out a statement, noting Jimmy Dee's musical legacy.
“Today, we are deeply heartbroken by the passing of local legend, Jimmy Dee, whose music has become synonymous with the Håfa Adai spirit. For decades, he brought the masses to the dance floor, filling our lives with joy and laughter all while perpetuating our CHamoru language and culture to locals and visitors alike,” Gov. Leon Guerrero said. “Our hearts go out to his wife Jackie, son Dr. Jimmy, and daughter Joleen, and their families.”
Tenorio noted that Jimmy Dee used his talents to share that Håfa Adai spirit with people around the world and to the younger generation here at home.
“More than sharing his musical talents and serving as an ambassador for our island on the international stage, Jimmy Dee committed his time and energy to fostering a new generation of local performers and entertainers to proudly represent our island home. While his passion and physical presence will be sorely missed, his legacy is undying and will live on through his timeless, singalong medleys that brought audiences to their feet.”