The daughter of country legend Red Foley, Boone was survived by her four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Debby, and Laury, who surrounded and sang to her when she passed.
Married for 65 years, Shirley and Pat had been blessed with a fruitful marriage. In those times, Shirley helped establish Mercy Corps. It is an organization dedicated to addressing economic, environmental, social, and political problems. In addition, she published articles and recorded music together with her husband. Moreover, she had established herself as a philanthropist and a television show host.
Shirley and Pat had known each other for quite a long time. They had met and started dating when they were in high school. Eventually, they became sweethearts and eloped when they were 19 years old. During that time, the journey of Pat to stardom was rising.
In one of his interviews, Pat recalled the tearful moment when he asked Shirley’s father for permission to marry her. He said:
“He tearfully asked me one thing, ‘Will you take care of my girl?’ and I said I would. And the tears rolled into his coffee because he knew he was moving and planned to take her with him, but he was willing to leave her with me.”
To note, Shirley is the daughter of country singer Red Foley who rose to fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Most notably, he became a star with his most renowned recording of “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” and the gospel hit “Peace in the Valley.”
In an interview with PEOPLE, Pat Boone stated:
“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. She’s changed her address and moved to a different mansion that I expect to join her in one day. I’m very confident of that. That took the sting out of what happened today because we know we’re gonna be together again and have a whole new beginning.”
Our sympathy and prayers are with the Boone family.
In memory of Shirley, listen to “Every Step of the Way,” a duet of her and Pat: