Singer Pat Boone's wife of 64 years, Shirley Boone, has died at the age of 84. Shirley passed away peacefully on Friday morning at the pair's home in Beverly Hills after suffering complications from vasculitis, which she had contracted less than a year ago. In her final moments, Shirley was surrounded by her husband of 65 years and the couple's four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Debby and Laury, all of whom were by her bedside singing hymns to her as she passed.
"We lived a wonderful, blessed life together for 65 years. 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," he says. "She's changed her address is all and moved to a different mansion that I expect to join her in one day."
"I'm very confident of that," Boone states. "That took the sting out of what happened today because we know we're gonna be together again and have a whole new beginning."
Charles Eugene "Pat" Boone met Shirley Lee Foley when they were teenagers. Her father was the legendary country singer Red Foley, and her mother was singer Judy Martin. The couple married in November of 1953, when both were just 19 years old. Pat Boone would go on to a singing career that included a stint on Motown's subsidiary country label, Hitsville, from 1974 until the label closed in 1977, releasing singles including "Indiana Girl." His run there included an album titled Texas Woman in 1976. The couple's third daughter, Debby, would go on to a recording career that scored several country hits, including two No. 1 singles: "You Light Up My Life" in 1977 and "Are You on the Road to Lovin' Me Again" in 1980.
In addition to being a loving wife and mother, as well as a grandmother and great-grandmother, Shirley Boone was an author, singer, humanitarian and founder of a billion-dollar Christian ministry. Pat Boone attributed their marital longevity to their shared faith.
"We didn't have the perfect marriage, but it helps to marry a magnificent woman," he reflects. "You make your commitments to God and each other, and in troubled times, you hang on to the commitment to God, and to your kids. You see the problems through and you find you're stronger because of it."