Sailor Brinkley-Cook shared some sad news with her fans over the weekend. The model and former Dancing with the Stars contender revealed that her grandmother has passed away just two days before the finale of the 28th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition.
Sailor, 21, took to her Instagram story to share a post by her father, New York architect Peter Cook, in which he wrote that his beloved mother Jean Marie Schaaff Cook passed away on Saturday one month shy of her 96th birthday. In a poignant tribute, Cook wrote that his mom was a mother of 6 and grandmother to 13, and that she was a member of the very first class of coeds at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an engineer on the Manhattan Project during World War II, as well as “a mathematician, voracious reader” and an all-around “dynamic woman.”
“We loved you mom, we admired you and we will miss you. May your heaven be filled with books, sherry and melted sharp cheddar on Triscuits!” Cook wrote.
In her own caption to a retro newspaper photo of her grandmother at work in a then-predominantly male field, Sailor added: ” My grandma, such a pioneer! The most headstrong woman. She was such a bada**! I’m so happy you’re at peace grandma. We all love you.”
The sad news comes just a few weeks after Sailor’s 60-year-old dad announced his engagement to college co-ed Alba Jancou
Last month, Sailor and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy were the third couple eliminated from Dancing With the Stars this season, but the daughter of Cook and supermodel Christie Brinkley was one of the most promising contestants on the show. It is unclear if the news of her grandmother’s death will affect any plans for Sailor to return to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom for this week’s finale.
Past eliminated celebrities usually return to the Dancing With the Stars finale to dance to one final number, usually a re-do of one of their most memorable performances. While ABC hasn’t yet announced which celebs will appear in the live DWTS finale, Us Weekly notes that in addition to Sailor, Lamar Odom, Karamo Brown, Mary Wilson, Kate Flannery, Sean Spicer, and James Van Der Beek were all eliminated from the show. NFL star Ray Lewis withdrew from the competition in week 2.
Of course, fans would love to see Sailor return and make magic with a repeat performance of her gorgeous Cinderella dance with Val, but her sad family news may keep her home on Dancing With the Stars finale night.