Gretchen Wilson Mourns After the Death of Her Uncle Vern
On Friday, Sept. 9, country singer Gretchen Wilson lost one of her most beloved family members -- her uncle, Vern Heuer. Heuer passed away at his home in Greenville, Ill. after suffering a massive heart attack. Heuer, who was only 44 years old, was engaged to be married this autumn.
Wilson, 38, is heartbroken over the loss of her uncle, who was featured in her 'Redneck Woman' video back in 2004. "This obviously caught all of us by surprise, and we are just devastated,” Wilson said in a statement (via Country Music Is Love). "I have a hole in my heart and a void in my life that will never be filled. Vern will not only be missed by my family and me but by everyone who was ever blessed to hear his laugh and see his smiling face. I will miss you, Vern."
Country fans might also recognize Wilson's uncle Vern from an episode of '60 Minutes' that aired in 2005. Uncle Vern gave '60 Minutes' host Ed Bradley a tour of the Big O nightclub where Wilson used to work during the episode, which focused on Wilson's career and her rise to fame. Heuer was also known for attending events with his famous songbird of a niece.
Wilson heard the heart-wrenching news while en route to a concert in Nevada. That night, she shared the sad news with the audience in Laughlin and toasted her late uncle with some Jim Beam, which was his favorite drink.
Vern Heuer is survived by his sisters Christine and Vickie, his nephew/Wilson’s brother Josh, and his dogs, Pete and Pete Jr. Due to funeral arrangements, Wilson, who is currently on tour with her Muzik Mafia posse, will be missing a show scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will be back onstage to perform on Sept. 15.
Watch the Gretchen Wilson 'Redneck Woman' Video