Jeffrey Howard Sweet

Well-known area musician Jeffrey Howard Sweet died after an eight-year battle against bone-marrow cancer Monday, June 4, 2012, at his home in Durango. He was 58.

Mr. Sweet was born to Richard H. Sweet and Barbara Harris on March 17, 1954, in Attleboro, Mass. After graduating from Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H., he attended New England College in Henniker, N.H., where he earned a Bachelor of Science in geology in 1976.

“He studied piano from a very young age, mastering the intricacies of jazz music,” his family said. “A gifted jazz pianist, Jeff performed with his band New Moon in the late ’70s and ’80s.”

He married Candace Chrisinger in 1987 in Boulder. The marriage later ended in divorce.

In 1995, he moved to Durango. He worked as a house painter and professional musician.

“Jeff was an incredible skier, racing and touring the professional ski circuit,” his family said. “He lived for those special powder days with the snow in his hair. Tennis was another passion, and he played often with friends in Durango. He was a proud and devoted father of Kelly, supporting her, encouraging her and protecting her, especially in her own career in music.”

Mr. Sweet was preceded in death by his former wife, Candace Chrisinger, in December 2011.

He is survived by his daughter, Kelly Sweet, of North Hollywood, Calif.; and sisters Michelle Daly of Breckenridge and Catherine Heide of Falmouth, Mass.

A celebration of life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Swing Restaurant at the Dalton Ranch Golf Clubhouse.