As Naomi’s music grew, her love life witnessed a dramatic change. She went from being a single mother of two to one of the industry’s power couples with Larry Strickland, her husband of thirty-three years.
One of the reasons these two found each other irresistible was that they shared some similarities. They were both singers, but they also had common backgrounds, including large families with blue-collar jobs.
Nearly a decade after meeting, the duo shared their vows and would have been married for thirty-four years a few weeks ago had Naomi not taken her life.
Despite this, they spent their lives together as a loving couple until the loss tore them apart. They lived the life of an ordinary couple without being engulfed by the luxury that their fame afforded them, and it was adequate to meet all of their needs.
In 2013, when discussing the factors that contribute to their close relationship, Naomi joked about the fact that they each have their own bathroom. But in the end, she acknowledged that the straightforward nature of their relationship was what kept them together. In her words:
“We are not at all unusual. He is currently out on a Bush Hog on the farm, and the most exciting thing that has happened recently is that he discovered a rattlesnake. This is how we live our lives.”
The spiritual upbringing of Larry Strickland began in his childhood. The singer’s father was a minister, and as he was growing up, he became familiar with gospel music, which has gone on to play a significant role in the singer’s musical career.
When he was still young, he began his touring career with gospel quartets. The following year, in 1974, the legendary JD Sumner and the “Stamps Quartet” took notice of his abilities and recruited him to join their group. From that point on, he collaborated musically with Elvis Presley.
After Elvis Presley’s passing, Strickland continued to maintain his position as a member of the “Stamps Quartet.” His love for gospel music has never faded, and he continues to perform with the group to this day.
In addition to his own singing, Strickland made a significant contribution to the development of both his wife’s career as a singer and their family by demonstrating concern and support at the times when she required it the most.
When Naomi first expressed signs of depression, he was devastated but ultimately decided to seek professional assistance for her. At first, Strickland was unaware of how serious the condition was, but his wife was aware of it. However, she never disclosed this information to him because she believed she could manage the situation on her own.
However, when the gospel singer visited the psychologist, Naomi revealed both her prognosis and her diagnosis, both of which came as a complete surprise to the performer.
Strickland started crying almost as soon as he learned the specifics of the difficulties that his wife had to face, and he admitted that he had been completely unaware of them.
He did not, thankfully, continue to dwell on the matter of secrecy. Instead, he made the decision to protect his wife, who was suffering from depression; this caused the “The Judds” singer to have second thoughts about her actions.
Naomi mentioned that while she was describing her husband, he is the ideal and typical man who does not require being kept in the dark. She said this while she was talking about how perfect he is. According to what she says:
“Larry is an exceptionally quiet man, which is exactly what all women and men want…
He puts in a lot of effort, is completely trustworthy, and attends that church each and every time the doors are open…
I came to the conclusion that it was inappropriate for me to attempt to protect him.”
The murder of Naomi as a result of her mental illness and subsequent suicide was a traumatic event for her family, which included her husband as well as their daughters Wynonna and Ashley.
Her surviving relatives, on the other hand, continue to remember her as the compassionate woman that she was and for all of the values that she embodied even after her loss.
During Strickland’s first public appearance after the death of his wife, which was a memorial service called “The Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” he paid an emotional tribute to his late wife.
The message that Naomi’s widower received from a complete stranger who had talked to his wife on the plane was relayed to Naomi.
The author gushed about how entertaining their conversation was and added that the singer was kind enough to share details about her husband with the author during their conversation.
At the conclusion of the conversation, the person praised Strickland and confirmed that his wife loved him without limit. The aim of the email was to provide the gospel singer with some solace during this difficult time in his life. Thankfully, it did its trick, as Strickland mentioned after reading the email:
“Due to the fact that I was aware of how fragile she was, I was petrified at the prospect of her traveling all the way back to Nashville from Vienna via airplane. This email provided me with a great sense of comfort and relief.”
When Naomi was 76 years old, she reached the conclusion that ending her life was the best choice. Sadly, in spite of the love and admiration she received from her family and fans, her mental illness had deeply embedded itself and told a convincing lie.
Ashley, the singer’s daughter, shared with the media that her mother committed suicide by shooting herself in the head and that she was “seen and heard in her anguish.”
It was a heartbreaking experience for the singer’s youngest child, who teamed up with her older sister, Wynonna, to accept the honor of having their mother inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was a moment that the singer will never forget.
That day, Wynonna and Naomi were supposed to accept the award together, but Naomi Judd, the other half of “The Judds,” passed away just twenty-four hours before the ceremony.