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In a column for Guideposts earlier this summer, Jean candidly wrote about how the family was coping with Alex’s cancer diagnosis.
“This didn’t have to be a death sentence. It could be a life sentence,” she wrote. “A constant reminder of how precious life is. The smallest things that I once took for granted now carry more meaning. I think that is how God keeps us in the moment. He focuses us with grace.”
Alex, who taped his last Jeopardy! episodes on Oct. 29, will continue on air until Christmas Day. But in an interview with Michael Strahan for ABC News in January, he revealed that had already planned and rehearsed his final goodbye for his last episode.
“What I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want,’” Trebek told Strahan.
“I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever,’” he added. “‘But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.’”
Jeopardy! producers have yet to announce Trebek’s replacement, but he joked this summer that he wanted his longtime friend Betty White to take the reins.
“I joke with the audience all the time and I say, ‘Betty White,’ because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier,” he told Good Morning America.