Jess Walton, the longest-serving cast member on The Young and the Restless (Y&R), has shared the tragic news that her husband, John James, has passed away.
The actress, who has played the role of Jill Abbott since 1973, relayed the sad development through her social media channels. James, known affectionately as “her cowboy”, had been her partner for 40 years.
“Three months ago, my sweet husband of 40 years, John, was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer,” Walton wrote. “Since that time, with weekly visits from hospice, my daughter Allison, her new husband Wade, our son Cole and I have been caring for John at home.”
Fans of the actress have become familiar with the sight of her living room, where she would regularly post photos of her family — with James always smiling beside her. James had been battling different forms of the disease for years, and in May of this year, Walton asked fans to send loving prayers for his recovery.
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“This has been far and away the most painful period of my life, and our children’s,” she continued. “At the same time it has been richly rewarding. Because John James has spent his entire life helping others, and most especially taking care of us, his family.”
“For us to be able to devote ourselves to him in his home with all that entails, and give him love and care and comfort from the people he loves the most, was our honor,” she wrote.
James was renowned for his company, The Grief Recovery Method, an evidence-based program designed to help individuals heal from heartbreak. It sounds like Walton and her family will take comfort in his wisdom, well beyond his living years.
“In the end, his greatest gift to us and all grievers, is the Grief Recovery Method, the company he founded, and which his son Cole runs to this day,” Walton added. “That gift will guide all of us through the daily heartbreak of living without him.”
James is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
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