Richard Anthony “Richie” Puente

Richard Anthony “Richie” Puente

Birth
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 18 Jul 2004 (aged 51)
Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Burial Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 16761068 · View Source
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Richie Puente, second son of the late Latin jazz legend Tito Puente and percussionist with famed disco group Foxy, died in his sleep.
In the prime of a richly rewarding career that has included two Grammy nominations and two gold records, the accomplished 51-year-old multi-instrumentalist was hospitalized after suffering from viral encephoplopathy due to a prior brain injury that was the result of a mugging over 10 years ago. Since his release from the hospital, Richie had been nonverbal, confined to a bed and wheelchair and relegated to tube feeding. He resided at home with his 95-year-old grandmother and his mother, Ida Carlini, who became Richie's primary caretaker along with daytime nurses who helped with his daily needs. Puente's immobilized state was a sad turn of events for someone so young and vital and who thrived on the stage playing music over the past 25 years.
In 1974, Richie and fellow musician Ish Ledesma formed the band Foxy, playing rock and underground disco covers and originals. By 1975, they had a recording contract with Henry Stone's T.K. label out of Florida and recorded five albums, one of which went gold. In 1979, Richie toured with the Jacksons (featuring Michael Jackson) on the Destiny Tour, where Foxy was the opening act for Sister Sledge. Since his departure from Foxy, Richie became a session musician for Criteria Studios, recording with such renowned artists as Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, George and Gwen McRae, Blowfly (Clarence Reed) and ABBA. In 2000, Richie returned to the stage with renewed vigor, playing percussion for Edward Villela's Miami City Ballet production Mambo No. 2 a.m. and appearing as a guest artist at Roseland Ballroom in New York City for the Linda McCartney Breast Awareness Garland Foundation in the Latin Segment tribute to his father, Tito Puente. In February of 2001, in the midst of rehearsals for the 2001 Miami City Ballet season of Mambo No. 2 a.m., Richie suffered a viral infection, which caused uncontrollable seizures. Doctors ultimately had to induce a coma in order to save him. Unfortunately, two months later he came out of his coma with little hope of recovery. In fact, the prognosis was grim -- eventual death due to the trauma he had already suffered.


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  • Created by: W. Arnold Holmes
  • Added: 24 Nov 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16761068
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Anthony “Richie” Puente (15 Jun 1953–18 Jul 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16761068, citing Eternal Light Mausoleum and Gardens at All Faiths, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by W. Arnold Holmes (contributor 46956166) .