Olivia Newton-John's Husband John Easterling Recalls Sweet Proposal Story During Memorial Service

John Easterling paid tribute to Olivia Newton-John alongside hundreds of fans and family members at her state memorial service in Australia on Sunday

Olivia Newton-John's husband, John Easterling, is remembering the star with a sweet story about their engagement.

Easterling, 70, paid tribute to Newton-John alongside hundreds of fans and family members at her state memorial service in Australia on Sunday, where he detailed how the pair became engaged in a candid speech.

Stating that he and his late love "had some hard times in our life before, like everyone has," Easterling said that he and Newton-John had openly talked "about how lucky we were to have found each other, and how in love we were and how much happiness we were experiencing" in their relationship, adding, "I mean, [it was] an order of magnitude we thought maybe we should feel guilty [about], because we were so happy."

"But we decided we'd feel gratitude and just let the happiness run at full throttle, and we went to the desert in Arizona after that, and I thought it'd be great to propose to her up in the Red Rock Canyons, and we went out there and did some hikes up to some ancient sites," he continued.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: John Easterling delivers a tribute during the Memorial Service for Olivia Newton-John at Hamer Hall on February 26, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
Asanka Ratnayake/Getty

Though he noted that he and Newton-John experienced obstacles that "kind of disturbed the moment" for him to propose, Easterling said it eventually happened when they "ended up back in Scottsdale that night on Valentine's Day" and played a game of charades.

"The secret phrase was 'Will you marry me?' And she got 'will' and she got 'you,' and then I said it rhymes with 'hairy,' and then out of nowhere she just said, 'Will you marry me?' And I said, 'Yes,' " he explained. "She looked stunned for a minute, and then started laughing … but that's the story of how Olivia proposed to me."

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Olivia Newton-John (R) and John Easterling attend the VIP reception for upcoming "Property of Olivia Newton-John Auction Event
John Easterling and Olivia Newton-John. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Elsewhere during his speech, Easterling also described Newton-John as a "healer" and recounted a moment when he saw her perform live for the first time.

"You have to understand, I wasn't an Olivia fan," he told those in attendance. "I didn't know any Olivia music, I'd never even seen Grease."

"So this was a small little intimate theater in Miami, the lights went down, and I heard Peruvian flutes play, and she walked out on the stage and started singing 'Pearls on a Chain,' and there was this healing moving through the audience," Easterling continued.

"People around me were crying, and I got it," he added. "It hit me like a laser beam in the chest, that Olivia was a healer. And this is one of her mediums of healing."

Olivia Newton-John attends the VIP reception for upcoming "Property of Olivia Newton-John Auction Event at Julien’s Auctions on October 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Olivia Newton-John. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Alongside Easterling, the memorial — which was live streamed and is now available to watch until March 5, saw Newton-John's daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, also pay tribute to the star with a moving speech.

Delta Goodrem — who collaborated with Newton-John and played her in the 2018 Australian biopic miniseries: Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You — spoke at the event as well, and video tributes also poured in from various famous friends, including Elton John, Hugh Jackman, Dolly Parton, Pink, Barry Gibb and Mariah Carey.

The service, organized by the singer's family and announced earlier this month, was available for the public to attend at Hamer Hall in Arts Centre Melbourne after registration for an invitation began on Feb. 10.

The event itself had been in the works since August, per CNN, when Daniel Andrews, Premier for the State of Victoria, tweeted about wanting to do something special to celebrate Newton-John's life — and her family agreed.

Singer Olivia Newton-John (L) and husband John Easterling attend the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Olivia Newton-John and John Easterling. David Livingston/Getty

The service came months after the four-time Grammy winner died at age 73 following a 30-year journey with breast cancer. Easterling announced on the Grease star's death on her social media channels on Aug. 8.

"Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," he wrote at the time. "Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the @onjfoundation."

In September, Newton-John's friends and family remembered her at a memorial service in Southern California attended by John Travolta, Marie Osmond, Leeza Gibbons and Sir Cliff.

Other friends also made the trip from Australia for the service.

RELATED VIDEO: Olivia Newton-John Was an 'Angel on Earth,' Remember Friends: 'There Will Never Be Another Like Her'

Earlier this month, Easterling sat down for an interview with Hoda Kotb on the TODAY show with Lattanzi and discussed the grief over his loss, noting that he still feels the Grammy winner's presence, and talks to her, too.

Asked by Kotb, 58, when he feels her "the most now," Easterling said "late at night or early in the morning."

"I'll just be walking around the house or throwing the ball for the dogs and just speak to her out loud," he said.

Easterling, who held Lattanzi's hand during the interview, continued, "A guy I was flying with said, 'You know, John, when you're lucky enough to have found your true soulmate, and you share a heart, when one passes, the other has the obligation to live life for both.' And that was very empowering and very powerful for me, and, you know, gave a way forward."

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