Legendary singer Pat Boone is mourning the loss of his wife of 65 years, Shirley Boone. She died on Friday, January 11, at the age of 84, after suffering complications from vasculitis, a disorder affecting blood vessels, which she was diagnosed with less than a year ago, reported People.
Shirley passed away peacefully at the couple’s Beverly Hills, California, home surrounded by Pat and their four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Debby, and Laury. They were all singing hymns to her as she died.
“We lived a wonderful, blessed life together,” Pat told People.
“I’ve parted with my better half for a little while… but we don’t die, we just move on to another place, and today was moving day. She’s changed her address is all and moved to a different mansion that I expect to join her in one day.”
Pat and Shirley — whose parents were country music singers Red Foley and Judy Martin — “were the proverbial high school sweethearts,” the crooner explained to Radar Online in 2017.
“We met when we were 13, we got serious when we were 16 and started going steady. We both went to a Christian high school in Nashville. She was homecoming queen. I was president of the student body and captain of the baseball team. We married at 19.”
After their wedding in November of 1953, the couple settled down in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Pat’s singing career took off a couple of years later, and he scored his first No. 1 hit in 1955 with a remake of the Fats Domino song “Ain’t That a Shame.” The 84-year-old has continuously released new music over the last seven decades, with his latest album being 2006’s We Are Family: R&B Classics.
He also launched a successful acting career in the 1950s, starring in films like Bernardine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, State Fair, and Goodbye Charlie. His last movie was the 2017 family film A Cowgirl’s Story, which co-starred Bailee Madison and Chloe Lukasiak.
Meanwhile, Pat’s personal manager, Milt Sunchin, told Fox News that “Shirley was more accomplished than is generally known.”
“[Shirley was a] best-selling author, recording artist, TV hostess, humanitarian, and the origin of Mercy Corps, a top ten hunger relief organization worldwide, a half-billion-dollar annual budget, which started in the Boone home. Millions know her for her Christian ministry.”
Pat and Shirley spent the last 50 years living in Beverly Hills. Their daughter Debby Boone wound up following in her father’s footsteps and became a successful singer and actress who is most known for the song “You Light Up My Life.” The Boones have 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
“The thing that would fulfill her was to be a good wife, and mother, and grandmother, and to create happy homes,” Pat told People.