Alex Trebek and Jean Currivan Trebek, seen in 2015. The...

Alex Trebek and Jean Currivan Trebek, seen in 2015. The longtime "Jeopardy!" host's widow wrote an open letter to her late husband that was published on the third anniversary of his death from pancreatic cancer.  Credit: Getty Images / Michael Buckner

Long Island-raised Jean Currivan Trebek, the widow of iconic “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, has launched a cancer fund in his name, helping to introduce it with a letter to him she wrote to commemorate the third anniversary of his pancreatic cancer death on Nov. 8, 2020.

“Alex, Every day (actually, several times a day) I think about you and recognize how you continue to inspire me. Regularly, you would say to me, ‘I see you.’ I hope you know, that I saw you too,” wrote Currivan Trebek, who is 59 or 60 according to differing records, in a letter published Wednesday by People magazine.

“I saw how you … were so present and curious about what people were doing and going through in their lives,” the philanthropist and podcaster continued. “I loved that you took an interest in their backgrounds and their circumstances. I saw how you were comfortable in talking to anyone … from a famed politician to our wonderful gardener.”

Currivan Trebek, who was raised in Huntington and graduated from Harborfields High School in Greenlawn in 1982, went on to write admiringly of “how important it was for you to help people. I remember you being upset about a situation, so you got involved.”

Now, wrote the mother of the couple’s two adult children, “I realize how important it is to think for myself. You demonstrated this so brilliantly, too. In a world with so much noise, somehow you were able to listen to what was right and true for you.” She added, “I have come to value this within myself, now more than ever, and I have you to thank for being an intrepid and superb example.”

She concluded by thanking him "for teaching me backgammon,” the game he played regularly with his friend who was her employer, leading to their meeting. “Thank you for all the love notes. Thank you for being my hero. You are forever in my heart.”

On Nov. 1, Currivan Trebek and the long-standing organization Stand Up to Cancer announced the launch of The Alex Trebek Fund, for research into pancreatic cancer treatment.

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