Music was everything to Gregg Lee Rickards, an Amagansett resident who died on Aug. 29 of a recurrence of cancer that he had first been diagnosed with seven years earlier.
Mr. Rickards played bass, both electric and stand-up, since his years at East Hampton High School, where he was in the orchestra and jazz band. He had discovered his love for playing after receiving a guitar as a Christmas present when he was in the eighth grade.
At the State University at Oneonta he studied music, performing most nights in various combos. He received the university’s Louis Armstrong Award, a high honor for musical achievement, in 2006, and graduated with an honors degree in music. He remained in Oneonta after graduation until 2010.
His family said that if Mr. Rickards wasn’t performing in front of an audience, he was practicing, and that his dedication to the craft was admired by his peers.
“He admired talented musicians and he strove to always improve and be a better musician,” his mother, Teresa Collins Rickards, said.
Gregg Lee Rickards was born on Oct. 12, 1988, to the former Ms. Collins, who lives in Amagansett, and Gregg Lee Rickards, his father with whom he shared a name with no “junior” or “second” appended, who now lives in Wainscott.
Growing up in a house on Oak Lane in Amagansett, he attended the Stella Maris School in Sag Harbor from prekindergarten through eighth grade. He made lifelong friends there. He attended church at Most Holy Trinity in East Hampton.
During his high school years, Mr. Rickards worked in the summers as a cabana boy at the Maidstone Club. Other jobs he held were at Whitmores Gardens in Amagansett and at Schiavoni’s I.G.A. in Sag Harbor.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Rickards is survived by many cousins.
A funeral Mass was said by the Rev. Msgr. Donald M. Hanson at Most Holy Trinity on Sept. 5, with the Rev. Steven E. Howarth of the Amagansett Presbyterian Church taking part in the service. The evening before, Msgr. Charles Guarino of Most Holy Trinity conducted a service at his wake. Burial was in the church cemetery on Cedar Street.
Memorial contributions to the family to help offset costs associated with Mr. Rickards’s illness and care can be sent to Gregg Lee Rickards, in care of Apple Bank, P.O. Box 5055, East Hampton, 11937.