Derek Hough Praises Allison Holker After tWitch’s Memorial
Saying goodbye to their beloved friend. Many of Stephen “tWitch” Boss’ loved ones came together on Saturday, February 11, for an intimate Celebration of Life memorial.
“Today we honored and celebrated our dear friend. The love felt in the room was palpable, the speeches were pure and the celebration of his life was a rollercoaster of emotions,” Derek Hough — who worked with Boss on NBC’s World of Dance — wrote via Instagram early on Sunday, February 12. “I have so much admiration for @allisonholker demonstrating grace, strength and courage during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you for allowing us to share this vulnerable moment all together. We love you tWitch.”
The So You Think You Can Dance alum — who died by suicide late last year— was mourned by wife Allison Holker and their three kids on Saturday. According to multiple reports, the HGTV host, 35, and eldest daughter Weslie, 14, spoke during the event and revealed that they had launched the Move with Kindness Foundation to carry on Boss’ legacy by “spreading love and mental health awareness.”
Saturday’s service, conducted by family pastor Joe Smith, also saw many of the late dancer’s famous friends in attendance. In addition to Hough, 37, guests included Ellen DeGeneres, Wayne Brady, Loni Love and AJ McLean. Former SYTYCD season 6 contestant Mollee Gray, for her part, opened up about attending the emotional service via her TikTok several hours later.
“So, we just got back from tWitch’s Celebration of Life. It was heartbreaking, it was funny, it was inspirational, literally everything that you can imagine in celebrating this man that has affected all of us,” Gray, 31, said in her Saturday upload, revealing husband Jeka Jane accompanied her to the memorial. “We wanted to pour a nice glass of wine and cheers to the things that we were inspired by today.”
The married couple — who wed in 2017 — went on to toast kindness, big hugs, checking in on loved ones every day and making everybody feel “validated and seen.” The Teen Beach Movie actress concluded: “Alli, we love and kids [Weslie, Maddox and Zaia], we love you. To the king, tWitch.”
Us Weekly confirmed in December 2022 that the former Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ had died by suicide at the age of 40.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,” Holker, who married the Real Dirty Dancing host in 2013, said in a statement at the time. “Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”
The former Dancing With the Stars pro added: “His positive impact will continue to be felt. I am certain there won’t be a day that goes by that we won’t honor his memory. We ask for privacy during this difficult time for myself and especially for our three children. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”
Boss is survived by his wife and their three children: Weslie, 14, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 3. (The late performer had adopted Weslie, Holker’s daughter from a previous relationship, after their nuptials.)
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If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.