Music icon and outspoken Christian Pat Boone lost his wife of 65 years this month and is now breaking his silence over his great loss.
Shirley Boone died Friday, Jan. 11 at age 84 while in hospice, surrounded by her family. Boone and his daughter, Debby, are organizing two memorials services to celebrate her life both in California and Nashville.
“I’m full of tears now. I lost not only my wife but my best friend. We’re not going to have a funeral. We’re going to have two memorial services, which we are planning now,” the entertainer emotionally told RadarOnline.com.
Boone shared that the family is still unsure where exactly they will host these services but one might be at their church in California.
“We’re going to have a memorial service. We don’t know when yet but it will most likely be either on the Pepperdine University campus or, more likely, The Church on The Way in Van Nuys, California, which is our home church,” he revealed.
“It’s where Shirley and I have been elders for 40 years! Shirley went there with me until she couldn’t go anymore. I couldn’t take her."
The legendary artist went on to share that when his wife was too sick to go to church they’d have church “services at home.”
The second location Boone wishes to host a memorial at is the popular Christian college, Lipscomb University in Nashville.
“It’s a private Christian university,” the grieving widower said. “Shirley and I first met on the campus of David Lipscomb High School 68 years ago!”
Boone is wishing to honor the impactful legacy of his late wife in both services. He will talk about how she began the billion-dollar humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps.
“She also had her own Christian ministry called We Win-Women Empowering Women In Need — which she created to help other women,” he told Radar. “Shirley also had a best-selling book, One Woman’s Liberation.
“My wife has blessed so many people in this world. And everyone known her has felt their love for her!”
Boone also revealed that his wife’s “beautiful, worn-out body is in ashes” inside of an urn.
“When I die, my ashes will join hers and we’ll mingle our ashes, he concluded. “Then, we are going to plant our ashes along with some seed in front of the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University in Malibu!”
Boone is known for his extensive career as a singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality and motivational speaker. He has recorded around 150 albums with sounds varying from rock and roll and pop to country and gospel. Boone's career spans more than 60 years in singing and has appeared in more than 12 Hollywood movies. As a pop singer, he had dozens of Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and was the second biggest seller on Billboard's charts after Elvis Presley. Boone’s 2014 gospel album, Legacy, was his last album.
Although not in the limelight like her husband, among her other successes, his wife led a prayer ministry for people in the music industry for most of her life.