(hennemusic) Delia Becker, the widow of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, has confirmed the guitarist's September 3 death at the age of 67 was caused by "an extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer."
In a letter to Steely Dan's fans published by Rolling Stone, Becker's widow details that the timeline from discovery of the issue, during a routine medical checkup, to his passing was less than four months, while also expressing thanks for the outpouring of support the family has received.
"As Walter Becker's wife of many years, I wanted to share with his fans some information regarding his death that has not previously been reported," Delia begins. "I realize this is overdue, and I hope you will understand why. For me personally, his death was a devastating blow, as I know it was for many of you. I am just beginning to emerge from its heartbreaking impact.
"Walter died in the course of being treated for an extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer. The cancer was detected during one of his annual medical checkups and its presence came as a grim surprise to Walter, his doctors and to me. It seemed to have come out of nowhere and had spread with terrifying speed.
"Walter chose an intense regimen of chemotherapy at Sloan Kettering though, between the cancer's aggressiveness and the overwhelming toxicity resulting from the chemotherapy treatments, Walter died less than four months after the cancer was detected.
"Walter passed peacefully in our New York City home, surrounded by his family, his music, and a blustery rainstorm - one of his favorite sounds - blowing outside the window. In keeping with his wishes, he was cremated without ceremony or memorial in New York City.
"Understandably, Walter wanted privacy during the course of his illness and he hoped for recovery. He wanted to be able to return to the stage and once again perform for his fans. It's important to me, as it was to Walter, that you all know he never intended to keep anyone in the dark about his condition. He just ran out of time much sooner than any of us thought possible." Read more here.