Rory Feek Mourns Loss of Father-in-Law: ‘Joey Got to See Her Dad’

Rory Feek is mourning the loss of his father-in-law, Jack Martin, who passed away from a heart attack on Sunday, March 21. Feek shared the news on social media, elaborating on the loss in a blog post on his own website.

“On Sunday, my wife Joey got to see her daddy for the first time in five years,” Feek wrote. “On her side of heaven, I’ll bet there was a lot of rejoicing going on. On our side, there were lots of tears, but not many of them happy ones…”

In his blog, Feek shared more of his thoughts on the loss of Indiana’s grandfather, who was on his way to Las Vegas for a vacation when he had a fatal heart attack.

“Beth was taking Dad to see the Grand Canyon and some other heavenly places he’d been wanting to see for a long time,” Feek shared. “Instead, he got to see heaven itself. In mid-flight, the plane had to divert and do an emergency landing in Kansas City. Paramedics tried for forty minutes to revive him, but it was no use.”

Feek is waiting for the right time to share the sad news with his youngest child.

“We will be heading north in a few days, to remember Jack and be with all the family as they lay him beneath a willow tree, or at least next to his only son Justin, who tragically died from a car accident in 1994 at only seventeen,” Feek explained. “And there will be more tears and more sadness, along with some wonderful stories and memories shared I’m sure.

“I haven’t told Indiana yet,” he continued. “I will, when we get up there and she can see and better understand what’s happening, but right now it would probably be confusing for her. Too much for a seven-year-old who ‘can’t understand why her Mama can’t face-time her on her birthday’ to take in at once.”

Martin’s death became a wake-up call of sorts for Feek, who has been reflecting on the loss since he heard the news.

“It’s a strange thing to think about waking up to what would feel like any other day, doing what you do… making coffee, showering, dressing, getting your day started like every other day,” he wrote. “Only on that day, it wasn’t going to be like the others. It was gonna be the last day. Dad was 73 years old. Doing some quick math, that’s approximately 27,000 days of opening your eyes and waking and living and doing what you do. And then one day you don’t.”

Feek’s new album, Gentle Man, will be released on June 18 on Gaither Music. Everything Nash extends our deepest condolences to Feek and his family.