CHINO BERMUDEZ was a student at Bok Vocational High School when he heard his first rap lyrics.

He was smitten. From then on, he spent his spare time rapping out rap lyrics. So, he was never a Biggie Smalls or a Sean "Diddy" Combs - his heroes - but Chino had fun trying.

Music was a big part of Chino's life. Besides the rappers, he was also a fan of R&B, and singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole was his favorite female entertainer.

A handsome, spirited young man, Eliezer "Chino" Bermudez's life was cut cruelly short by multiple sclerosis. He died May 4 at the age of 39. He was living in Easton, Pa.

He was born in Philadelphia to Virginio Bermudez and Tomasa Soto. After graduating from Bok, he attended a barber school and then moved to Tampa, Fla.

He worked for a time as a barber and did restaurant work before the crippling disease began to get the better of him.

The tragedy of Chino's afflicton was that he had always been active, never sitting still for long.

"He was always on the move," said his sister, Sandra Bermudez Finn. "He was full of life and very outgoing. He was always happy-go-lucky."

Chino had three children, who are living in Florida.

"He was a loving father," his sister said. "He did the best he could for them.

"He really started going downhill in the late 2000s. But he was somewhat mobile and able to function until the last six months."

When he could no longer care for himself, he moved in with his mother and stepfather, Jose M. Soto, in Easton. He died in Easton Hospital.

Besides his parents and sister, he is survived by his children, Jacquez, El'Shawn and Ethan, and a brother, Virginio Bermudez Jr.

Services: Were May 10. Burial was at St. Peter's Cemetery, New Brunswick, N.J.