Everything Golden Bachelorette Joan Vassos Has Said About Her Late Husband John

Everything Golden Bachelorette Joan Vassos Has Said About Her Late Husband John
Joan Vassos Disney/Ramona Rosales

Golden Bachelorette star Joan Vassos is gearing up to meet the contestants vying for her rose, but she’ll never forget her late husband, John Vassos.

John died in 2021 at age 59 after battling pancreatic cancer. The couple was married for 32 years and share four children. After two years of grieving, Joan decided she was ready to put herself back out there.

"I did not want to spend my life alone, so I knew that I had to take action, but my heart wasn't there at all," Joan recalled during an interview with CNN in May. "I was saying to my friend, 'How in the world do you date now? Look around this restaurant. Everybody here is a couple. Everybody my age is married. All my friends are married.’"

When she got home from dinner that evening, she saw a Golden Bachelor casting call on TV.

"I was like, 'The universe is talking to me,'" Joan said.

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Joan became a contestant on the debut season starring Gerry Turner. She left during week 3 because of a family emergency involving her daughter who had just given birth. Gerry, 72, ultimately got engaged to finalist Theresa Nist, and they officially tied the knot during a televised wedding in January. The Bachelor Nation couple split in April, but Joan said she still learned a lot from Gerry about finding love on the ABC franchise.

“He exemplified somebody who is very open and vulnerable. He said that’s what you need to be from day one because you don’t have a lot of time,” Joan told Entertainment Tonight in June about her “good friend” in an interview published on June 20. “This is a quick journey. You can’t leave anything on the table. I feel like day one, starting conversation one, everything you do here is important.”

Before Joan gets a second chance at love, take a look back at her quotes about her late husband.

Looking Back Fondly

“I had a wonderful life with my late husband, and I loved being married,” Joan told Katie Couric Media. “I wanted to experience that feeling again but finding a match later in life seemed impossible to do organically. We live in a world of couples and the chance of meeting someone while going about your normal day is very unlikely … believe me, I tried.

John’s Impact on Joan’s Journey

"I feel like he maybe had a little hand in me actually getting here, honestly," Joan told ET in June about her late husband. “He told me right before he passed away, 'You need to go out and find somebody else. You were the best wife in the world and I want you to be happy.' He gave me this wonderful gift before he died, and he said go and do something, and so here I am."

Everything Golden Bachelorette Joan Vassos Has Said About Her Late Husband John
Joan Vassos (Disney/Michael Le Brecht

She "thought a lot about” John’s words before going on The Golden Bachelor.

"I had a conversation with a friend of mine and I was like, 'God, I had the offer to be on it and I'm a little afraid that it is not honoring his memory by doing this. [I feel] like I'm betraying him in some way,'" she recalled. "Obviously, I'm not, but I had that feeling for some reason. She said, 'You are nuts! He would have loved this.'"

John Would be Proud

"He loved reality TV. He was a dive in with both feet to anything you do [kind of person]," she told ET. "I think he's up there going, 'Look, that's my wife down there. She's doing this.'"

Remembering Her Late Spouse

Joan posted a heartfelt tribute to John on the third anniversary of his passing.

“Some days it seems like it just happened and I can’t catch my breath, still feeling the shock of it. Other days it feels like he’s been gone a lifetime, those days are worse because I’m afraid the memories are fading. I think that’s what scares me the most,” she wrote on Instagram at the time,” she wrote via Instagram. “I always knew that the hole he left in the universe when he passed away could never be filled, but I didn’t realize that maybe people might just stop noticing it was there…He was the husband that made me feel safe and cherished.”

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She continued, “He was the parent that was always the fun one because that’s all he knew how to do … lucky kids because fun in his book was generally epic. I could go on for hours, you all know that though.”

Joan said her husband would want to “be remembered” by “not forgetting him.”

“Please keep telling the stories, don’t worry, they don’t make me sad … let’s be honest, most of them are funny!” she concluded. “As the Greeks say, ‘May his memory be eternal.’”

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