Debby Boone is thanking fans for their support following the death of her mother, Shirley Foley Boone. The “You Light Up My Life” singer’s mom passed away late last week at age 84, as previously shared by the Inquisitr. The philanthropist and longtime wife of singer Pat Boone was surrounded by her four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Debby, and Laury, who sang to her as she passed.
After her mother’s death was announced, Debby, the third of the four daughters born to Pat and Shirley Boone, took to Instagram to post a childhood photo of herself with her parents in a poignant tribute to her late mom, who was the daughter of pioneering country singer Red Foley. Debby also added a photo with mom and her sisters and a more recent pic of the Boone women.
“Mama, I am glad you are free,” Debby Boone captioned the throwback slideshow. “You lived a life of faith, hope, and love and there is no way to measure the impact you had on this world and in so many, many lives. Your daughters call you blessed.”
Debby Boone also thanked fans for their overwhelming love and support and reiterated her father’s request that in lieu of flowers, fans could send donations to Ryan’s Reach, Mercy Corps International, or The Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University.
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I know most of you know that my sweet mother passed away on Friday afternoon after a long struggle with congestive heart failure. She endured things that no one should have to experience with such grace and courage. Mama, I am glad you are free. You lived a life of faith, hope, and love and there is no way to measure the impact you had on this world and in so many, many lives. Your daughters call you blessed. The love and support that we have received and continue to receive has been overwhelming and very much appreciated. My father has asked that donations to Ryan’s Reach,Mercy Corps International, or The Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University be made in lieu of flowers. Thank you all so much.
Debby Boone and her sisters had a close relationship with their mother, who helped pave the way for their future singing careers with their gospel group The Boone Sisters. In a 2017 interview with The Spectrum, Debby spoke about how her mom taught her and her sisters to sing.
“My mother grew up singing with her sisters and then in a professional group before marrying my dad,” Debby said. “She would teach me and my sisters 4 and 5 part harmony with her being the 5th as far back as I can remember.”
Debby Boone has also reflected about her upbringing as the daughter of famous parents, telling the blog Chicago and Then Some that her childhood was as normal as could be expected.
“Our lives were what most people would experience across the country,” Debby told the site in 2012. “My parents wanted it to be that way and worked very hard to give us a normal, not show-biz-y kind of life. It was definitely a privileged life. I’m not kidding myself about that. They put us in high-end private schools and that kind of thing, but we had a real strong sense of family and the importance of family and spending time with family. “
Debby Boone went on to explain that her family always ate dinner together and had morning devotionals at the kitchen table. The singer also revealed that her parents, high school sweethearts who were married for 65 years before Shirley’s death, didn’t shower her and her sisters with everything they wanted just because they could afford to.