Sausage pioneer and country music singer Jimmy Dean died in his Henrico County, Virginia home yesterday (June 13) at the age of 81.

Dean had been facing a few health problems, however was overall doing well up until his death. His wife Donna Meade Dean told the Associated Press that she left the room where her husband was eating in front of the television Sunday evening. And when she came back, he was responsive.

He will be remembered for his country music hits like “Big Bad John,” and his widely-known “Jimmy Dean” sausage brand, which he founded in 1969 and sold to Sara Lee in 1984.

Dean, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this past February, is survived by his wife, three children, and two grandchildren. Dean’s wife said his upcoming memorial service will be private.

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