Daniel Knighton/Getty ImagesThe music world was saddened by the death of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who passed away September 3 at age 67. No cause of death was revealed at the time, but now the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s widow, Delia, has issued a statement in which she shares previously unannounced details about Becker’s passing.

In her letter, Delia describes Walter’s death as a “devastating blow,” and says she’s “just beginning to emerge from its heartbreaking impact.”

She reveals that her husband “died in the course of being treated for an extremely aggressive form of esophageal cancer,” adding, “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.”

Delia continues, “Walter chose an intense regimen of chemotherapy at [New York hospital] 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.”

She also reports that Becker died peacefully at home in New York City, “surrounded by his family, his music, and a blustery rainstorm — one of his favorite sounds — blowing outside the window.”

Delia adds, “In keeping with his wishes, he was cremated without ceremony or memorial in New York City.”

In addition, she explains that Becker had hoped to return to performing, and hadn’t intended to keep fans in the dark about his illness. “He just ran out of time much sooner than any of us thought possible,” she points out.

Delia goes on to thank fans for “the tsunami of tributes and remembrances” that followed Walter’s death.

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