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George Richey, Tammy Wynette’s Widower, Dead at 74

George Richey, the widower of Country Music Hall of Fame member Tammy Wynette, has died. The songwriter, producer, music publisher and manager passed away on July 31, according to Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, after a lengthy battle with with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Richey was 74.

Pictured left at their 1978 wedding, Richey was Tammy’s fifth husband. His songwriting credits included tunes cut by his late wife and her third husband, George Jones. He also had songs recorded by Merle Haggard, Johnny Horton and Wanda Jackson, among others.

Tammy Wynette died on April 6, 1998, at age 55. Richey had been acting as the singer’s manager for several years. Just one day before the first anniversary of her death, three of the singer’s daughters filed a $50 million lawsuit in Nashville, blaming her death on her personal physician and also naming Richey in the lawsuit. As a result, Richey requested that Tammy’s body be exhumed and an autopsy performed. The results of the autopsy were released on September 25, 2001, declaring that she died of natural causes.

In January 2001, Richey, married ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Sheila Slaughter, 34, in College Grove, Tenn, in a small ceremony during which Tim McGraw performed ‘It’s Your Love.’ In September of that year, Richey and his wife welcomed daughter Tatum.

At Richey’s request, no public memorial was held. He was buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, near the burial site of Tammy Wynette.

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