Joey Feek of the country music duo Joey + Rory battled courageously with terminal cancer for months. With her husband, Rory Feek, revealing her strength and faith and their shared love, Joey touched the hearts of millions. But at age 40, the frail singer lost her cancer battle, passing away on March 4 in her hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, reported ET.
“Joey was surrounded by family and close friends at the time of her passing,” shared the Feek family. “Joey had been fighting Stage IV cancer for nine months, surrounded by the love and support of countless family members, friends, loved ones, longtime followers of her music and even strangers who were inspired by her life.”
Following through with his beloved wife’s final wishes, Rory took their little girl, Indiana, who celebrated her second birthday just before Joey died, and went home so that the singer could be buried as she had requested at their family farm in Pottsville, Tennessee.
Throughout her struggle, Joey became famed for her strong marriage with Rory and their songs. But beyond that, pointed out the Feek family, Joey sought her joy in her faith and in her family.
“Joey was known for her beautiful voice, beautiful smile and beautiful marriage partnership with Rory Feek. While grateful for numerous accolades and countless career dreams that came true, Joey found the real meaning and joys of life to be one of love for her God, love for her home and family, love for planting and growing and love for sharing with everyone she knew.”
Now alone, Feek has been turning to Instagram to share images of his life and reflect on his loss. A picture of their farm included the poignant caption that Feek is making preparations that he had hoped would never be needed.
The private funeral service was held by Feek family members. Survivors in addition to Rory and their daughter Indiana include her stepdaughters Heidi and Hopie, her mother, father, and three sisters.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:
Joey and Indy
PO Box 5471
Vancouver, WA 98668
In addition, as the Inquisitr reported, Overstock has created a virtual card, where fans can send condolence messages for Rory and the Feek family and express their sympathy for the tragic loss.
A close friend of Joey and Rory, Bill Gaither, described the tearful funeral service to People.
“It was tearful, but it was optimistic, especially being on the dirt,” revealed Gaither. “She was part of the earth. We all felt as though we were close to her.”
A horse-drawn carriage carried Joey’s casket, with Rory summing up the strength to reflect on his beloved wife prior to the burial.
“Singers were performing ‘Let’s Go Down to the River to Pray,'” recalled Gaither. “It was just a sweet Tennessee mountain moment. Very positive things were said at the gravesite.”
In addition, Bill shared that Feek is focusing on the future with Indiana as the focal point.
“I talked to him last night about the service, and I said, ‘First, Rory – how are you doing?’ and he said, ‘Well, I took Indiana to the school this morning to enroll her,'” noted Gaither. “He said, ‘This is the first day of the rest of my life. I have responsibilities.’ I think that’s pretty special. [He’s thinking], ‘What is the next step?'”
And that next step also includes a public memorial service. It’s scheduled for Sunday, with both Rory and Feek family members anticipated to speak. The Alexandria-Monroe High School gymnasium will provide the setting for the community to express its love and support and for the Feek family to share its gratitude.
Gaither expressed his admiration for the relationship that Joey and Rory sustained.
“They’ve been married only 15 years, but I think they would say 15 great, fantastic years,” emphasized the gospel music writer. “I look at people who have been married 50 or 60 years and I say, ‘What would they give for 15 great years out of the 50 or 60?'”
Feek seems to share that view. In a blog post entitled “One Last Kiss,” Rory revealed his wife’s final words before she drifted into a deep sleep and passed away.
“One of the last things Joey said before she drifted into the deep sleep she’s been in for a few days now is, ‘I have no regrets… I can honestly say, that I have done everything I wanted to do and lived the life I always wanted to live.'”
In the future, in addition to caring for their daughter Indiana, Rory will also honor one of his wife’s wishes by writing a book, according to People.
Feek shared that Joey had encouraged him to pen a book and tell their story, as well as continue his film career.
“She talked to me about how she wants me to continue to tell our story, and other stories,” revealed Rory. “This past spring I co-wrote and directed my first film, and she wants me to go on and continue writing and making more movies.”
[Image via This Life I Live]