Marvin, that is because prior to being sick or dieing, he was probably alive. Then, at some point he became sick, and then died. For him to actually be dead, all of those prior things would have had to happen, hence they're being mentioned. He is dead, and has been for SEVERAL years. I apologize for the sarcasm.
That is so funny and you are so right. He died after a long time of a deteriorating heart condition. He had a pace maker put in in the late 90s. He lost a lot of weight and tried to get better. He was even thinking of having a heart transplant and a lot of people said he was going to have a heart transplant. His heart just kept getting worse and he died in in 2004.