There's sad news to report as Dean Schachtel, the GM of Ronnie James Dio's Niji Entertainment Group and a Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund board member, passed away Monday at the age of 49. The news comes on the heels of a weekend in which Schachtel was a major presence at the memorial events for Ronnie James Dio.

Billboard reports that his wife Teresa announced his passing, stating, "It is with shock and sadness that I tell you that my husband Dean Schachtel has passed away today … Please know that he was a wonderful man who will now be with his maker."

In addition to his time with Niji, Schachtel's industry experience included time at KDSK radio, Warner Music Group, Rhino Records, Jewish Music Group and handling social media for Dio and Motorhead. In recent years, Schachtel has become a recognizable face and key player in many of the Ronnie James Dio-related fundraising events for the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.

Over the weekend, Schachtel took part in the auctioning of signed Dio instruments and memorabilia and served as one of the speakers at the memorial marking the five-year anniversary of Dio's death. He spoke of attending a show as a kid, deciding to use his remaining money on a backstage pass opportunity rather than buying a t-shirt and getting to watch Dio as a young man from the side of the stage during his two performances that night and the generosity that Dio had in speaking to him backstage in his youth.

During the weekend proceedings, Schachtel was frequently spotted sharing his love for metal with his son Zander.

Our condolences to the Schachtel family, Niji Entertainment and the staff at the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.

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