Oak Ridge Boys’ Duane Allen Really Struggling After Wife’s Death


Oak Ridge Boys singer Duane Allen says he appreciates all the love, but the pain won’t go away after his wife’s death.

“There are times when I just break down,” he shared on social media.

  • Allen and Norah Lee Allen were married for nearly 55 years before she died on March 31 (Easter Sunday).
  • She’d been ill and was hospitalized at Vanderbilt in Nashville at the time of her Easter morning death.
  • On the same day, Oak Ridge Boy Richard Sterban’s wife Donna’s father died.

Allen posted an update to Facebook on Friday morning (April 26). It’s half a show of appreciation for all the well-wishes — “I am so humbled and honored that you are here,” he begins — and half recognition that losing a spouse is emotionally devastating.

“My big old home is filled with memories of everything that she put there. Our home was her castle,” he continues.

Picture of duane and norah lee allen

Courtesy of 2911 Media

Allen then describes how he asked a family friend to give the place a top-to-bottom cleaning in an effort to preserve those memories.

“It is so hard sifting through all of the memories … but now, there is only me to enjoy it.”

Norah Lee Allen was an accomplished singer. She became a full-time member of the Grand Ole Opry band in 1980, and as a background singer, she performed with dozens of legendary and contemporary country singers on stage and in studio.

A thorough organizing is underway with family.

“There are times when I just break down when I find a drawer with enough money that the kids always had money to by (sic) lunch at school,” Allen says, reminiscing.

That money will now go to the grandkids.

“I have had a hard time even finishing sentences without crying since I lost the most beautiful lady I ever met, the love of my life. I am so thankful to God almighty for letting me share her for 54 years and 8 months of the happiest years of my life.”

The Oak Ridge Boys have played a handful of dates on their American Made Tour since Norah Lee Allen’s death. Their next shows are this weekend in West Virginia and Kentucky.

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