At the public funeral memorial hosted March 13 by gospel music leaders Bill and Gloria Gaither in Joey Martin Feek's hometown of Alexandria, Ind., Joey's mother, June Martin, sang an uplifting spiritual song "Just a Closer Walk with Thee." Joey's father, Jack Martin, also shared how he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior during the time Joey was so ill.
At the memorial service, June thanked the "hundreds of thousands of people" and the local people of Alexandria for the outpouring of love and grace. "Your mercy personified the kind of people you truly are," she said.
"Whether you knew me personally, or whether you knew Joey, she became part of you, and you became part of her. She loved you because you believed it her, and you never gave up on her," said the grieving mother.
June said she could never do a song justice "like Joey could," but she did her best, because she thought they all could use a closer walk with the Savior.
Jack, who had not prepared speaking notes, blurted out that he did something a few months ago: "I got saved." Attendees applauded, stood up and someone shouted "Amen." He said it was a really special development for Joey. "I had no idea that was the most important thing I could've done for Joey."
"I'm so blessed to be the one she (Joey) called dad," said the proud father.
Also during the memorial, Joey's older sister, Jodi, was introduced. Jodi was the registered nurse who walked through the last phases of the journey with Joey. Bill Gaither said Jodi was there day and night with Joey.
Jodi said she and Joey reconnected during this time, often telling stories of their childhood. "Sometimes, we'd talk 'til 3 a.m. about our families, personal struggles, fears, weaknesses. We also talked about our greatest satisfactions, and the mark we want to leave in this world," she said.
Jodi said they cried about the day they lost their brother, and how his death had affected them. Justin Martin was killed in a car accident in 1994.
"They thing we talked most about was her love for Jesus Christ, and how important it was for her girls to know Him, trust Him and follow Him," said Jodi.
"I will forever be thankful for the past five months. Joey taught me so much, about myself, love, living and sacrifice," said Jodi, who thanked community members for the compassion given to their family.