PALM BEACH, Florida – Kathryn Limbaugh, the wife of radio legend Rush Limbaugh who died last week of lung cancer at age 70, assured his listeners Monday that “it’s not time to panic.”
“The truth is, it’s not time to panic,” said Mrs. Limbaugh, as she took to the airwaves on her late husband’s national broadcast Monday. “There will be no other Rush Limbaugh ever. We all know that. But I hope that all of us will find it within ourselves to carry on his message, his legacy, and everything that he believed in – in some way – in our own lives.”
She says a virtual memorial for her husband is now in the works.
“We are in the initial stages of planning a celebration of life that will be able to be viewed by all of the audience and friends and extended family at some point in the near future. We don’t have an exact date just yet. We’re working on some of the logistics. But, yes, that is something that we will have in the upcoming weeks to month.”
Rush Limbaugh, the most-listened to voice on the radio for more than 32 years, died Wednesday after battling advanced lung cancer for more than a year, and Kathryn acknowledged Monday, “It’s been a very difficult time, as it probably has been for everyone who has been listening all these years.”
She said Rush is now “in a good place. He’s in heaven. He’s looking down on us, and that gives us some element of comfort. But it has been a very difficult time.”
As she was interviewed by guest host Mark Steyn, Mrs. Limbaugh opened up on some personal moments not well-known among the public, including her first meeting the “doctor of democracy” while she was inviting A-list celebrities to an event at the Floridian Hotel while she worked for the foundation of South African golfing great Gary Player.
Kathryn admitted she was “not keen” on inviting Rush to the bash, based on what she had heard of him in the media.
“I put him down on the B or C [list] just based on what I thought I knew of him,” she said with a giggle, adding, “I don’t think he’s very happy if he’s listening to me right now.”
“He came into the Floridian, he walked in, he was extraordinarily humble and kind,” she continued. “And I thought to myself, ‘This isn’t quite the person that I thought was going to be arriving.’ And from that moment on I knew that everything that you read and hear is not necessarily accurate.”
“Rush and I became friends for many years before we actually got married. We were very, very close from the early days of that meeting.”
Regarding their first date, “He invited me to dinner as just a friend. … We went to dinner here in Palm Beach … We met in the restaurant and he was such a gentleman. From the moment that we first sat down, he did everything that you would expect a total gentleman to do.”
“He was very kind. He was so well spoken, obviously. He had a lot to talk about. And he was very intriguing from the first moment we met. However, we were just friends. He would laugh at this story, but we were buddies. He called it ‘the buddy rules.’ We were buddies for a period of time even after that date. And it just flourished from there and it became more than that.”
Kathryn indicated Rush was a creature of habit regarding his daily routine.
“What he would usually do is wake up in the morning, probably about 8 o’clock,” she said. “He would take a shower, he would feed his little cat, Allie, who he adored and still would be feeding her if he could. But he would head to the studio probably about 8:30, and he would do show prep in the morning prior to the show coming on. But one thing about Rush is that he never stopped working. From the moment that he got home after the show, he may give himself 15 minutes or 20 minutes or maybe an hour of rest time, but then he was right back at it. He was always preparing. He was always reading his iPad, paying attention to current events and so forth. So I would say he was always working, but the exact schedule started in the morning about 8 o’clock and carried through to the show and on to the show itself.”
Kathryn explained it was difficult to deliver the news of her husband’s passing last week, because she was aware millions of Americans feel they’re related to Rush.
“Rush, for all of us, for me but also for all of you, is a family member,” she said. “And I know the other day when I came on to let you know of his passing, I very much felt that I was sharing that news with family. So I hope you all know that I do fully understand the pain that you’re going through.”
She surmised what Rush might be thinking since he died.
“While he’s very, very, very sad that we are suffering, I believe that he is also happy because he knows that we will carry on and all of us will find a way to honor Rush and everything that he stood for.”
A caller asked how it came about that British rock star Elton John performed at the pair’s wedding.
“Both Rush and I loved Elton John for many years. Ironically, he happened to be staying in the same hotel as were were in Hawaii,” Kathryn explained. “We said to each other, ‘How about we invite Elton John to perform at our wedding?'”
“I wrote a letter to Elton John and told him how much we loved and adored him and respected his music and his career and asked if he might be available to headline at our wedding. And one thing led to another, and sure enough he accepted, very graciously, and he was there.”
She says Rush and Sir Elton John kept in touch after the wedding.
“There were actually quite a few similarities that might not come across on the surface,” she noted of the two larger-than-life characters.
“Rush’s favorite song and mine as well is Your Song by Sir Elton John, and in fact, a little bit of inside baseball, as Rush would say, I played that for Rush in his final days, and he was able to listen to that song, and we remembered our wedding and Elton John in particular.”
Will Kathryn become a regular part of the Rush Limbaugh radio broadcast?
“I’m definitely not America’s Anchorman, but I will fill in now and again,” she said.
Steyn noted that once she mentioned her role as an on-air fill-in for her husband, “An amazing number of people seem to be seconding that” on Twitter, adding he might need to create a radio ident for “America’s Anchorlady” were it to become reality.
“The best gift that we can possibly give to Rush as he looks down on us from heaven, is to continue what he stood for in the best possible way. And through all of you, through Rush’s Army, I know we can do that in various ways. … That’s the best thing we can do is not panic, not give up, and continue on his mission in his honor,” Kathryn said.
Regarding the “Rush Revere” children’s book series on American history authored by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, as she’s a descendant of founding father President John Adams, Kathryn indicated: “We do hope to continue the series and expand on them as Rush would like.
“We are also looking at possibly doing a cartoon that specifically focuses on fun American history and true accurate American history. So there are some things in the works we do want to continue that project on since that was very much a passion of Rush’s. I don’t know exactly when we will be able to, but we certainly hope to in the months and years ahead. … We have plenty of topics to cover and plenty of books to write at the right time.”
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