Alex Trebek's hometown of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, has big plans to honor the beloved Jeopardy! host after his death Sunday at the age of 80 following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The Canadian city where Trebek was born and raised has been flying flags at half-mast outside of City Hall and has created a virtual condolences book in his honor, but TMZ reported Tuesday there are plans for a larger memorial in the works.
Brian Bigger, Mayor of Greater Sudbury, told TMZ that while nothing has been discussed by City Council yet, there have been calls on social media for some kind of public work of art, such as a mural or statue, or a way to link the new public library to Trebek's legacy. With Trebek's involvement in education, Bigger said it would make sense to get his family involved with the library, but the ideas will be hashed out further at the next council meeting. Bigger also wants to get the game show host's family's input but said he has been giving them space to grieve before reaching out. Trebek was previously honored with a key to the city of Ottawa in 2016 and received the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor, in 2017.
After first announcing his cancer diagnosis in March 2019, Trebek was open about his treatment and emotional journey in his new memoir, The Answer Is...Reflections On My Life. "When death happens, it happens. Why should I be afraid of it?" he wrote in the book, adding he simply wanted to be remembered as a "good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best."
Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards said on TODAY Monday that Trebek spent his final day on earth exactly how he had wanted — "sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon." Richards added that his former co-worker "had a swing in his backyard that he loved" and was able to enjoy it, as he was coherent and not in pain through the very end. "The fact that he had a nice final day makes all of us in the Jeopardy! family feel much better," he continued.
In his memoir, Trebek described his perfect last day as just that. "Here I am wanting to enjoy what might be the last of my days, and, what, I'm supposed to just stay at home and sit in a chair and stare into space? Actually, that doesn't sound too bad," he wrote. "Yep, I'll be perfectly content if that's how my story ends: sitting on the swing with the woman I love, my soul mate, and our two wonderful children nearby."