This afternoon, after spending much of Monday on life support in an Austin hospital, Ryan "Ace" McNeely died at the age of 30.
A familiar face to many in the Dallas music community, McNeely worked as the sound engineer at City Tavern and, most recently, played bass in Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos.
He was in Austin this weekend, performing shows with that band, when, late Sunday night, at a friend's house in Dripping Springs, McNeely fell off a cliff, suffering the injuries that eventually took his life. He was just nine days shy of his 31st birthday.
He'll be remembered by his friends (this writer included) for his cheerful demeanor, and for always being quick with a smile, a joke and smack on the back.
Musicians, friends and fellow City Tavern employees gathered yesterday at the downtown establishment to pull for McNeely, and, once news of his passing came, to remember his life.
"It's a real somber room right now," owner Joshua Florence said of the mood at his venue.
Florence and his staff are currently planning a memorial, benefit show for McNeely and his family, the details of which have yet to be determined.
Update at 4:53 p.m.: McNeely's friend and bandmate, Grant Jones, just checked in via email with some new information on Ace's passing. After initial reports from McNeely's family that said McNeely was taken off life support yesterday evening, the family changed their minds, instead opting to wait until today so Ace's kidneys could be donated to two other hospital patients in need. Shortly after entering surgery at 12:05 p.m. today, McNeely was officially pronounced dead. Jokes Jones, who possesses impressive strength in his sense of humor during this time: "For some reason, they didn't want his liver or lungs."
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