Country duo Joey Feek and Rory Feek have became known for reasons beyond their professional music careers. Struggling with terminal cancer, the country star made the decision to enter hospice care, and her devoted husband shared their love, strength and courage in blog posts for his site, “This Life I Live.” Now Joey has lost her fight with terminal cancer, and Feek is left to fulfill her dying wishes, reported People.
Among those wishes was a request to have a casket made of wood from their farm “with a cross on it.” She also asked that the burial site be the family’s farm house.
“And find a good spot in the family cemetery in the field behind our house, where we put your mama’s ashes last year,” Feek recalled that his wife requested before her death. “[Leave] room enough beside my headstone for you to join me someday… in God’s time.”
Since the news spread of her death, many stars from the country music world have stepped forward to honor Joey. Among those celebrities was Dolly Parton, who had brightened the 40-year-old’s final days in a wonderful way as well as paying tribute after her death, reported Taste Of Country.
Dolly never met Joey personally. But to Parton, the death resembled the emotional pain of losing someone in her own family. Dolly also revealed that she was honored by having Joey as a fan, and heartbroken to learn of her passing.
“When I heard she had passed it really hit me like a relative, it really made my heart sad,” Parton revealed. “I was just so sorry that she had to be taken but I guess the Lord needed her more than we did.”
Dolly created a special video for Joey prior to her death. Feek revealed just how much that video from Parton meant to his frail wife, and Dolly also shared that she had learned of the joy that she had given to the dying country singer.
“She’s watching, she’s up there and we love her,” said Parton.
Dolly also expressed her admiration for the Feek family’s courage and strength throughout Joey’s cancer battle and passing.
During a press event, Parton shared the news of a new album and tour. The album, entitled Pure & Simple With Dolly’s Biggest Hits, is a double-disc project. Dolly has created 12 new songs and a selection of her greatest hits. Parton has marked 60 days thus far for her United States and Canadian tour this summer.
“We’re so excited to get out there and see the fans again,” declared Dolly. “I’m really looking forward to singing songs the fans have not heard in a while, as well as the hits, while debuting a few new ones off Pure & Simple.”
Parton also talked with the Boot about her admiration for Joey.
“She was such a sweet, sweet person,” Dolly emphasized. “They had such a wonderful thing going. I was just so sorry that she had to be taken, but I guess the Lord needed her more than we did. She was a big fan of mine. I was really touched by that.”
Parton had taken time prior to Feek’s death to create a video message about the Christian faith that they had in common, and to share her admiration.
“We have something in common: We both believe in a higher power. We believe that, through God, all things are possible,” said Dolly in her message. “I just think that you’re wonderful, and I know that God’s proud of you.”
Feek shared on his blog how much Dolly meant to his wife, and how she had responded in watching that video from Parton.
“From the time she was four years old, Joey had been singing Dolly’s songs and dreamed of one day meeting her. Coat of Many Colors was a regular part of our show and at home she loved to put on Dolly and listen to ‘Hello God’, ‘When I Sing For Him’, ‘Me and Little Andy,’ and many others. She never got the chance to meet her in person and had no idea that Dolly even knew who she was. But that changed one Friday evening this past November.”
Watching his wife view the special video that Parton had made just for her was one of the shining moments in their life, shared Feek.
“It was the most beautiful moment I have ever been part of,” he summed up.
[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CCMA]