A part-time South Florida homeboy for the past several years, renowned singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie announced on his website that his beloved wife Jackie has passed away as the result of inoperable liver cancer. She died at the couple's winter home in Sebastian, Florida, this past Sunday at the age of 68.
Arlo and Jackie recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary.
On his website, Guthrie posted the following thoughts: "The sun rose on my world this morning. Jackie stayed with us throughout the night, lingering in our hearts just out of sight but clearly present. She woke me before sunrise in a dream saying that the hour had come when she would need to leave us and be gone before the sun arose. As her words awakened me I walked outside and stood looking over the river talking with her in the predawn twilight we both loved so much. It was our time and for years she brought me coffee as I took photographs of morning on the river."
The couple met in 1968 at the Los Angeles music Mecca the Troubadour where Jackie was working as a waitress. Even before they actually met, she reportedly announced that she planned to marry the singer. The following year, the couple purchased a sprawling 250-acre property in Western Massachusetts that they dubbed "The Farm," and they were married on the estate's grounds in October 1969. In recent years, Jackie joined her husband in his travels, while he performed both solo and as a member of the Guthrie Family Reunion, and often served as the tour videographer. One of the group's most recent appearances was this past July at the Newport Folk Festival, but she was reportedly so weak, she found it difficult to hold the camera. She was diagnosed with the disease in early September.
Guthrie, who gained fame in the late '60s for his epic narrative and album of the same name, Alice's Restaurant, became an indelible part of the counter-culture at Woodstock while singing his defiant drug anthem "Coming into Los Angeles." He is, of course, no stranger to tragedy. His father, the great dad of American folk, Woody Guthrie, died of Huntington's Disease in 1967 at age 55 While Arlo continued to champion Woody's love of traditional Americana and the ordinary people that inspired his songs.
"There are loves, and there are LOVES," the note on Arlo's website continues. "Ours was and will continue to be what it has always been - A very great love... there was this great love that we shared from the moment we met - a recognition - It's YOU! And we would always return to it year after year, decade after decade and I believe life after lifetime."
Jackie is survived by the couple's four children and a daughter fathered by David Crosby prior to her marriage to Guthrie. She also left behind ten grandchildren.