Psychedelic Furs saxophonist Mars Williams passes away at 68 after battling rare form of cancer, spent last six weeks performing nightly on the road

Mars Williams has passed away at the age of 68.

It was reported that the renowned saxophonist died on Monday morning from ampullary cancer — a rare disease he was diagnosed with about a year ago.

His family shared a statement and said he was ‘surrounded by family and friends’ at the time of his passing. 

The musician was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in December 2022 as revealed by the GoFundMe set up by his family to help cover treatment costs.

His loved ones shared a statement on that same account to announce his tragic passing and to share that he had spent the last six weeks doing what he loved the most — ‘out on the road performing night after night’ with The Psychedelic Furs.

Mars Williams has passed away at the age of 68. It was reported that the renowned saxophonist died on Monday morning from ampullary cancer after he was diagnosed with the rare disease about a year ago.

Mars Williams has passed away at the age of 68. It was reported that the renowned saxophonist died on Monday morning from ampullary cancer after he was diagnosed with the rare disease about a year ago.

Ampullary cancer is a rare form of cancer that forms in an area of the digestive system, called the ampulla of Vater, according to the Mayo Clinic.

He was most known for being a member of the short-lived, punk-new-wave band The Waitresses from 1980 to 1983.

He also played saxophone for The Psychedelic Furs for about six years in the ’80s before rejoining the group in 2005. 

‘Dear friends,’ the statement began. ‘It’s with great sadness that we send this message to let the many people who loved and supported Mars Williams know that he passed away earlier today after his year-long struggle with cancer.’

His loved ones shared that at the time of his passing, Williams was ‘surrounded by family and friends, both in person and around the world, who held him close, and loved him dearly’. 

‘Until the end, Mars’ inexhaustible humor and energy, and his love for music, pushed him forward,’ it continued.

The statement also revealed that over the summer,  

‘As it became clear in late summer that his treatment options were coming to an end, he chose to spend six weeks of the time he had left living as he had since he was a teenager — out on the road performing night after night.’

His family shared a statement and said he was 'surrounded by family and friends' at the time of his passing.

His family shared a statement and said he was ‘surrounded by family and friends’ at the time of his passing.

He was most known for being a member of the short-lived, punk-new-wave band The Waitresses from 1980 to 1983. He also played saxophone for The Psychedelic Furs for about six years in the '80s before rejoining the group in 2005

He was most known for being a member of the short-lived, punk-new-wave band The Waitresses from 1980 to 1983. He also played saxophone for The Psychedelic Furs for about six years in the ’80s before rejoining the group in 2005

‘Those last performances with the Psychedelic Furs will live on with all of the other incredible contributions that Mars has made as a person, and as a musician, and that boundless energy will continue to inspire,’ the statement read.

Williams’ family and friends also shared in the statement that they will be planning a celebration of life for Williams, ‘someone who was a hero to so many’

According to the GoFundMe set up by Williams family earlier this year, he was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer, ampullary cancer — ‘in which a tumor develops near the bile duct and pancreas’ — at the end of December 2022.

He underwent major surgery the following month and had a three-week hospital stay to recuperate from the operation.

In March, he began a six-month course of chemotherapy — which he completed in September.

‘Despite these challenges, his attitude Is totally upbeat, and he’s tackling this like everything else in his life — head on,’ read the statement written earlier this year.

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