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Rory Feek Shares Pictures, Stories From Joey Feek’s Public Memorial

Joey + Rory singer Joey Martin Feek’s life was celebrated in a public memorial in her hometown of Alexandria, Ind., on Sunday, March 13, and her husband Rory has shared his thoughts and some pictures from that very special day via his blog, This Life I Live.

The beloved singer passed away on March 4 after battling cancer for much of the past two years, and she was laid to rest on the couple’s farm in Pottsville, Tenn., on March 8 in a private service.

Gospel legends Bill and Gloria Gaither were close friends of the couple and Joey’s family, as they are longtime residents of her hometown. They hosted a memorial in the local high school gym in Alexandria that drew people from all over the area to remember the singer, who drew attention from all over the world for her grace and resolute faith as she bravely faced the end of her life with unshakable dignity.

Rory recalls that he first visited Alexandria in April of 2002, just two months after he and Joey began dating. He met her family, and she took him to her old school, as well as to the site where her brother, Justin, had been killed in a car accident that had shaken the family to its core and perhaps helped lead to the dissolution of her parents’ marriage. Rory had a specific purpose in meeting her father; he wanted to do things the old-fashioned way and ask for his permission to marry his daughter. Rory proposed to Joey on the very spot where her brother had died.

“I wanted to change that moment for her … to try to make it better,” he writes. “To turn that place into a beautiful beginning instead of a heartbreaking ending. And together we prayed that God might take our broken hearts and our broken pasts and make something truly beautiful of them.”

“And He has. A million times over, He has.”

Rory says the public memorial was particularly beautiful. “In the Alexandria High School gymnasium — the same place where Joey had played basketball and volleyball and cheered for her home team — a few thousand people gathered together in her honor. But this time, the cheers were all for her … The whole day was so special. Thank you to everyone who was there and to everyone who wished they could be there with us. Like me, I know my wife would’ve found a way to see the beauty in this sad day.”

Rory goes on to thank everyone in Alexandria who treated him and his wife so well during her battle with cancer, and says people are still coming up to him everywhere he goes at home in Tennessee, including a stranger who paid for his breakfast at the restaurant where he was typing his blog entry and sent him a note saying, “Love, Jesus.” He says he has learned through sharing his and Joey’s story online that the kindness of strangers extends into cyberspace, too.

“Sometimes I think the internet is a big scary place. A place where only dark things happen and the worst in people and life get lifted up. But I don’t think that way anymore. I think the internet is also a place where people can come together and share their hopes and their fears. A great big beautiful community of strangers… struggling, hurting, celebrating and needing each other. A great big, small town,” he reflects.

“Our town.”

Check out pictures from Joey’s public memorial in the gallery above, and click through the gallery below to see more shots from her private ceremony.

See Pictures From Joey Feek’s Funeral Ceremony

5 Unforgettable Joey + Rory Songs

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Next: Dolly Parton's Video for Joey Feek

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