Joey Feek may be gone, but she sure is not forgotten.
On Sunday, March 13, hundreds of people gathered in the Alexandria-Monroe High School gymnasium in Alexandria, Indiana, where Joey graduated high school in 1994, to remember the country music singer.
The public service memorial was put together by Joey and Rory’s lifelong friend and mentor Bill Gaither and his wife Gloria. Along with the hundreds of Alexandria residents, Rory, wearing a white button-down shirt and denim overalls, and his 2-year-old daughter Indiana made an appearance. The widower received a round of applause as he made his way to the front of the gymnasium.
— David MacAnally (@DavidMacAnally) March 13, 2016
Gaither was the first to take to the stage, sharing precious memories of the times he got to spend with Joey Feek.
“She was always excelling at everything she put her mind to and made this town a brighter place with her smile and light,” he said, before Rory joined him to lead one of Joey’s favorite songs “Lean on Me.”
Jerry Young, the Feeks’ pastor, was the next to take the stage.
“I loved Joey, her spirit and soul, and she loved all of you,” Young said. “I want to thank this community for what God has done with it. God has showed us the way, and Joey was a beautiful child of God.”
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeWISHTV) March 13, 2016
Pastor Young then presented Rory with Joey’s high school varsity jacket, which brought him to tears.
“This is such a special place, with special people, for us all to be in today,” Rory said. “This is the place that Joey played basketball. She loved playing here. This place taught her a lot of lessons, but what she really lettered in was love.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Joey Feek passed away from terminal cancer on March 4. She was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in May 2014, three months after she gave birth to her daughter. She later underwent a radical hysterectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Although she was pronounced cancer free, in October 2015, her doctors discovered the cancer had returned and was spreading. Refusing to live out the remainder of her life in a cold hospital, Joey opted to stop treatment and returned to her home in hospice care.
Prior to the memorial service, Rory shared a post on his blog This Life I Live, which he has used to document Joey’s battle since the beginning. The post, titled “dust to dust,” provided details of Joey’s emotional funeral.
“On Tuesday we laid my beautiful wife to rest,” Rory wrote. “In a grove of sassafras trees behind our farmhouse, with friends and family gathered around, we said goodbye to the greatest person I have ever known.”
Joey’s funeral service was held at their barn/concert hall behind their home, where the country music duo put on countless concerts for their fans and family. Rory said the last time he was on that stage was in October when he and Joey were singing together. On Tuesday, however, Rory was alone with a beautiful picture of his bride in the spotlight.
“When it came my time to speak, I walked up on the stage and stood looking at my wife’s sweet picture … and words were not enough to let her know how much she meant to me – how much she still means to me,” Rory shared. “And when my time was through and I thought I couldn’t cry anymore tears … they played a video celebrating Joey’s life that our friends Daniel and Gabe made. And my tears were replaced by smiles and laughter and joy and more tears. It was so beautiful, set to the song ‘After You’re Gone’ by Iris Dement … a song that Joey loved and requested be played at her service.”
[Photo via This Life I Live]