Singer and hit star of the 1950s and ’60s, Pat Boone, has paid a moving tribute to his wife of 65 years after she died at the age of 84.
Shirley Boone reportedly passed away at her home in Beverley Hills surrounded by her four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Debby and Laury, who sang to her before she died.
According to People, she had been suffering with complications from vasculitis, which she had contracted less than a year ago.
“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,” Pat told the news outlet. “She’s changed her address is all and moved to a different mansion that I expect to join her in one day.”
He said he feels confident they will be together again, and that thought alone has helped him overcome his initial grief following her death.
The pair first got together when they were just 16 years old and recalling the moment he asked Shirley’s father, country singing legend Red Foley, if he could marry her around the age of 19, Pat told the news outlet that Foley broke down in tears asking him to take care of his girl – something he promised to do and has done ever since.
The pair had four children, 16 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren together.
“The thing that would most fulfil her was to be a good wife, and mother, and grandmother and to create happy homes,” Pat added of his childhood sweetheart.
Shirley established her own successful career away from her husband’s fame during her life, helping to establish Mercy Corps, a charitable organisation raising awareness of economic, environmental and political problems.
She was also a best-selling author, recording artist, TV hostess, and humanitarian.
In a statement to friends and family, Pat Boone reportedly said: “Quick bulletin, change of address: Dear Shirley Boone doesn’t dwell in Beverly Hills now — she’s just been warmly welcomed into a beautiful new mansion in Heaven, prepared specifically for her and her husband by Jesus Himself, who said ‘that where I am, you may be also’.
“Rejoice for her, she’s begun her eternal life. She loves you too, as I do.”
Condolences to Pat Boone for the death of his delightful wife Shirley. 2 of the most genuinely decent people I’ve ever known. Great memories of being in Israel with them several times and many events together. God bless them!
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) January 13, 2019
US politician Mike Huckabee led a stream of tributes online, writing on Twitter: “Condolences to Pat Boone for the death of his delightful wife Shirley. 2 of the most genuinely decent people I’ve ever known. Great memories of being in Israel with them several times and many events together. God bless them!”
While singer and instrumentalist Charlie Daniels added: “Condolences to Pat Boone for the loss of his wife Shirley Married for 64 years Prayers for your comfort Buddy God bless you and the rest of the family.”