On November 8, 2022, the Alabama band shared a black and white Instagram image of their founding member Jeff Cook. The group revealed that the guitarist, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, had died.
Jeff was also a member of Gibson’s Guitarist of the Year, Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and Musicians Hall of Fame. His band shared how he’d passed away peacefully on November 7, 2022.
Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, Mark Herndon, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama at the American Music Awards circa 1985 | Source: Getty Images
They revealed he was 73 and had his close friends and family by his side at his Destin, Florida, beach home when he died. The bandmates also shared how he’d made one of his lifelong dreams come true before passing.
The late artist got to construct the Cook Sound Studios in Fort Payne at his home, known as the “Cook Castle.” Jeff’s studio was his way of assisting other musicians in sharing their music with other people.
When he wasn’t making music, the late star loved bass fishing and was a proud “Fishing Ambassador” in Alabama, as decided by five governors. One of the people who survived him was his wife of 27 years.
Jeff’s Castle, Where He Spent His Final Minutes with His Beloved Wife
According to Alabama’s Instagram tribute post, Jeff married Lisa Williams on June 9, 1995, and she was described as “the love of his life.” Gadsden Times 1998 article revealed that each bedroom in the singer’s Fort Payne home, where he died, had different themes.
The piece was like an heirloom because the singer’s wife believed Jeff’s grandfather or great-grandfather had designed it because they were both carpenters. Most guest room walls also featured a painting by the man who did the artwork on Jeff’s guitars, Wayne Jarrett.
The couple remained at the house because they wanted to stay close to their roots, as their parents were close by. The duo met and fell in love while Lisa was a Delta Air Lines flight attendant on a flight with him.
Jeff loved children so much that he even went fishing with those from the clinic who had cancer. Before he died, the artist had battled a years-long disease with the support of Lisa.
In 2018, Lisa’s [Williams] husband [Jeff Cook] stopped touring with his band, which continued performing with his consent.
What Disease Did Jeff Fight in His Last Years with His Wife by His Side?
In 2017, it was revealed that Jeff had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease around four years before. However, the fiddle player’s bandmates had kept it a secret until that year.
Jeff Cook performs at LP Field at the CMA Festival on June 5, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images
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In April that year, the artist chose to take a back seat from touring because of how the disease affected his body. A statement he gave said he struggled with balancing, coordination, and tremors, with him confessing:
“For me, this has made it extremely frustrating to try and play guitar, fiddle or sing.”
Jeff Cook at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Presents on November 5, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images
He explained how he’d tried not to burden others with his condition because he didn’t want to stop making music. Jeff said he wasn’t quitting the industry, but sometimes his body decided what he should do, and at the time, it wanted to heal and take a break.
In 2018, Lisa’s husband stopped touring with his band, which continued performing with his consent. The late star and his wife created the Jeff and Lisa Cook Children’s Home, which housed orphaned children worldwide, with the Philippines as the starting country.