Fritz Bernard “Timitou” Frederic was laid to rest today at St. Charles Cemetery in Long Island, NY. Prior to arriving at his final resting place, a wonderful service was held at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Brooklyn.
Timitou had been battling several health issues for many years. It began in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1999, where he suffered a stroke and heart attack after a System Band party. A doctor that attended that particular party the night prior was there at Canape-vert hospital to treat him. With this doctor’s expertise, Timitou had gotten well enough to return to the states for further treatment. Several years later he traumatically suffered another stroke, which left the left side of his body paralyzed. Early last year, Timitou once again suffered a stroke which left him bedridden for the remainder of his days.
For the past year, Timitou was speechless and unresponsive. Due to physical inactivity, he had developed several internal infections and as a result, his intestines had to be removed and he was placed on life support. His family and friends noticed an irony in the time and date of his death. They speculated that Timitou wanted to live to see his last Haitian carnival.
On Friday, March 2nd, Timitou’s viewing was at Blare Mozzarella Funeral Home on Coney Island Ave. There, everyone who knew him personally, fans, and family members came to show their final respects to the man the Haitian Music Industry grew to adore as both a gong player and second lead singer of the well-renowned band, System Band. From the Zin camp were Youyou, Romeo DeVolcy, and Patrick Apollon. King Kino and Jensen represented the group Phantoms. Kino spoke of his admiration and respect for Mitou. Also, Mario DeVolcy, Cubano, Shoubou, Isnard Douby, paid their respects.
Subsequent to the viewing, the family held a reception at Pascal Restaurant on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn for everyone to attend from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. After the family’s reception, everyone walked to Café Alta where Mario DeVolcy and the System Band musician held an additional reception for Timitou. Countless musicians from Haitian Music Industry were in attendance. The musicians got on stage and performed all of Timitou’s hit songs and reminisce about the good times they shared.
A well-known fanatic of Timitou’s by the name of Erzuli and several others who flew from Florida to attend the services was astounded by the fact that Reginald Benjamin, a long time friend of Timitou and bandmate from previous bands that he and Timitou were members of before they joined System Band did not attend any of the services.
Over in Miami the same evening, several promoters and musicians held a reception for fans to attend and show their respect as well. It was what seemed to be a farewell celebration. The members of Nu Look (Gazzman, Arly Lariviere, and Ti Blanc) were mainly in charge of organizing this event. Ti Blanc is System Band’s Miami based promoter.
The final farewell service for Timitou was held at St. Theresa Church in Brooklyn. The service was beautiful. Michel Blaise, a former bandmate of Mitou’s sang a beautiful Evangelist song with lyrics reminiscing about “good times the friends shared, the memories will last eternally and today is your day my friend; tomorrow will be mine and we shall meet again soon”, all the mourners’ burst into tears. Blaise’s solo was accompanied by a System Band trumpet player.
Fritz Bernard “Timitou” Frederic is survived by his six children.
-Cheyna Pierre OpaMusic.com