"Thank you for being my hero."
Alex Trebek's wife is paying tribute to her late husband on the third anniversary of his death.
In a poignant letter published in PEOPLE, Jean Currivan Trebek, 60, reflected on her favorite moments from their 30-year marriage and thanked the longtime Jeopardy host for "being my hero." The beloved quiz show host died at 80 in 2020, more than a year after he revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
"Alex, Every day (actually, several times a day) I think about you and recognize how you continue to inspire me," Jean began. "Regularly, you would say to me, 'I see you.' I hope you know, that I saw you too."
She observed how Alex both "talked and listened" to those around him. "You were so present and curious about what people were doing and going through in their lives," she wrote. "I loved that you took an interest in their backgrounds and their circumstances. I saw how you were comfortable in talking to anyone... from a famed politician to our wonderful gardener."
Jean, who recently helped to launch the Alex Trebek Fund with Stand Up to Cancer, noted that she was "blessed to have had a husband whose words carried his truth and integrity" and commended his desire to help those in need. "I remember you being upset about a situation, so you got involved," she recalled. "I was proud that you were actually, 'love in action' and that this proactive quality always benefited someone."
Although the Daytime Emmy award-winning icon accomplished so much in his lifetime, Jean explained that her favorite moments with him were the quiet ones, like "when we would drive up to our home in Paso Robles and watch the Lakers game together" or "when I came home and you had prepared a really elegant salmon dish with asparagus (perfectly done) along with chocolate mousse."
Jean has now come to realize how "important it is to think for myself," a skill that Alex also perfectly demonstrated during their marriage. "In a world with so much noise, somehow you were able to listen to what was right and true for you," she expressed. "I have come to value this within myself, now more than ever, and I have you to thank for being an intrepid and superb example."
She concluded, "Thank you for teaching me backgammon. Thank you for all the love notes. Thank you for being my hero. You are forever in my heart."
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