Rory Feek couldn't help but wonder why his wife got cancer when others were "not even trying" to be healthy

By Nick Maslow
Updated September 08, 2016 07:45 PM
Credit: Frederick Breedon IV/WireImage

No one was more shocked by Joey Feek’s cancer diagnosis and death at age 40 than her husband Rory, who spent years in awe of his wife’s will to lead a healthy life.

“She made great decisions and took care of herself, and yet she got cancer,” Rory, 51, says in an emotional interview featured in this week’s PEOPLE.

As country music duo Joey+Rory, the couple filmed concert specials and music videos at their home in Pottsville, Tennessee – some of which showed Joey’s love for organic living. From growing her own vegetables in their backyard garden to raising their own chicken on their farm, Joey took control of what she fed her family.

“For awhile, that upset me and disappointed me and mostly confused me because you see so many people in the world who are unhealthy – like really, really unhealthy, not even trying – and she tried so hard,” Rory explains.

For an in-depth look at the Feeks’ life now, watch “People Features: Rory Feek” which will debut on Sept. 15 on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN), launching Sept. 13. Go to, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.

Today, Joey is buried on their property, which she left last year as her cancer began to aggressively spread.

“We originally went to Indiana just for a few days,” Rory explains. “She wanted to go and say goodbye to her sisters and her mom and dad. But a few days turned into a few weeks into many, many months because she loved her time with her sisters and her mom and dad, and she loved being in the place she was born and raised. I wanted her to be where she wanted to be.”

Rory has captured some of the final memories of his wife with their 2½-year-old daughter Indiana in his new tribute to her life, To Joey, With Love, in select cities Sept. 20 and Oct. 6.

“I hope the world remembers my wife for the extraordinary, ordinary woman she was,” he says. “She was filled with love and light and joy and hope, and faith in a greater story than just the one that should could see with her own eyes.”