September 14th, 2008
11:44 AM ET

Remembering Carol Cafferty

Jack Cafferty isn't here today for the Cafferty File because of some tragic news.

His wife of 35 years, Carol, passed away unexpectedly this morning. Carol was everything to Jack. The dedication of his book reads, "for Carol, my wife, my life."

Jack wrote about how she was the inspiration for him to get sober and straighten up his life: "In all the years that we've been married, she has always brought to the table her unshakable grounding in something a lot more real than being on television or being recognized in the corner drugstore. She has been my rock, having done a magnificent job of keeping me from getting full of helium and drifting off the surface of the earth... She was all the incentive I needed to make painful but transforming changes – to get sober and stop smoking. I knew that I'd lose her if I didn't. She's an amazing woman who simply wasn't worth losing."

One story Jack loves to tell is how he and Carol met – when he was a local news anchor in Kansas City. They started to meet regularly for a quick meal between his shows and became good friends. Whenever Jack had to leave, his exit line was "We'd better wrap this up. Got to get back to the station." One night Carol finally asked, "What kind of a gas station do you work at? You're always wearing a tie."

Jack explained it was a television station. He loved the fact that she had no clue and couldn't care less that he had been on air there every night for four years. He later described that as one of his life's "twenty-four-carat moments" that made his heart soar. He said to himself then that he might marry her because "it can't get any more honest and pure than that."

Our deepest sympathies go out to Jack and to their two daughters, Leslie and Leigh. Our thoughts are also with Jack's other two daughters, Julie and Jill, and his grandchildren.

Carol was an animal lover. If you'd like to make a donation in her memory, the family asks you give to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. You can contribute at aspca.org.

Filed under: The Cafferty File