Monday, July 22

Pat Boone was second to Elvis Presley as a chart-topping pop singer from the 1950s to the 1960s.

Pat Boone married his high school sweetheart, Shirley, and they stayed together for 65 years until they were separated by death. Boone still lives in the home where he and Shirley raised their daughters. Even though he’s alone, he’s certain he will soon be reunited with his better half. For now, he enjoys life as a grandfather and great-grandfather.

Pat Boone is a successful musician who gained fame in the late 1950s. He was married to his high school sweetheart Shirley Boone for 65 years.

A friend on Pat’s basketball team introduced them to each other. Shirley was sitting on a bench, and the friend made Pat aware she was the daughter of country musician Red Foley. Pat admitted to not being the biggest fan of country music then, but since he already liked Shirley, that changed quickly.

Pat Boone with his wife Shirley photographed in 1957 | Source: Getty Images

The singer said their shared connection was rare, especially for 16-year-old high school students. “We were very much in love,” he confirmed. They dated nine months before their first kiss, and Pat was very nervous.

He confessed he only gave Shirley a shaky peck on the lip and left, but his girlfriend was not impressed. When she got home, she asked, “Is that what I waited nine months for?”

But Pat was nervous and feared ruining what he had with Shirley, ending up like his other high school relationships. However, the 16-years-old’s attraction only got stronger. When they turned 19, Pat’s asked Shirley’s father for his hand in marriage.

Pat teared up, telling the story. He explained how emotional Shirley’s father was to see how much they loved each other. “Will you take care of my girl?” asked Shirley’s father.

Foley was emotional because he had planned to move away with his daughter, but he realized he had to leave her with Pat. The singer promised to take care of Shirley, and he did love his wife for the next 65 years they were together. Without knowing what the future held for them, Shirley and Pat eloped and took a chance at one another.

What Life Did Pat and Shirley Have, and How Did They Say their Last Goodbye?
Pat and Shirley eloped in 1953 then settled in Teaneck, New Jersey, where they also welcomed four daughters by the time they were 23 years old.

Pat Boone with his wife Shirley and their family, Debby, Ryan Corbin, Linda, Jessica, Laury and Cherry appearing on the "Pat Boone and family Easter Special Show " in 1979 | Source: Getty Images

The couple supported each other; Shirley stayed home and cared for the children while Pat worked hard to graduate from Columbia University and win crowds over with his music.

However, things were looking bright for the singer; by the time he was 22, he already had his network music variety show and was one the youngest artists to achieve that.

He also had a fourth child on the way, so having his family grow while his career was booming felt like a miracle. Boone also hit another milestone when he graduated cum laude from Columbia University.

As a woman married to a music star, Shirley knew there would be a lot of parties involving alcohol, and as Boone’s music was a magnet for many young girls, she knew the music videos would have him touching and kissing other women.

Therefore, Pat was also aware of the position his music career put his wife in, so he recalled asking Shirley for permission to kiss Shirley Jones in his “April’s Love” music video.

Pat was honest about the kissing and drinking that would occur, so after the whole ordeal, they recommitted themselves to their marriage because their union and family were always a priority.

Shirley and her husband were religious; therefore, they credited the strength of their marriage to their faith. “We made our commitment in marriage to God and each other,” Pat said.

His music became so big that he was second to the legendary Elvis Presley in the early 1960s. One of his biggest hits, “You Light up My Life,” which topped the charts in the ’70s, was sung by his daughter Debby.

The singer brought his family on tour with him, and sometimes, the Boone family would perform together and sing several gospel and pop songs across the country.

After spending over six decades with his wife, Pat had only good things to say about her. He revealed that Shirley was most fulfilled when she was a good wife, mother, and grandmother. She loved to bring people together and fill up a space with happiness.

Shirley was also a woman of many talents. She was a successful author, recording artist, television host, and humanitarian. Pat admitted that keeping a marriage strong for 65 years was not the easiest journey, but he had the perfect wife beside him. The singer reflected on his long union and said,

“We didn’t have the perfect marriage, but it helps to marry a magnificent woman. You commit to God and each other, and in troubled times, you hang on to the commitment to God and your kids. You see the problems through and find you’re stronger because of it.”

Pat said goodbye to the love of his life when she died in 2019 at 84 years old. Shirley reportedly passed due to complications with vasculitis, which she was diagnosed with a year before her death.

The multifaceted Shirley died peacefully, surrounded by her family. Her husband was beside him, along with their four daughters, Debby, Cherry, Lindy, and Laury, who sang her hymns as she took her last breath.

On the first Mother’s Day the Boone family spent without Shirley, daughter Debby praised her mother for embodying a mother’s love.

Shirley left this world as a mother of four, grandmother of 15, and great-grandmother of 11. She loved her maternal role and extended that love to many more in her family.

Pat Boone’s Family
Since having four children at 23 years old, Pat’s family has grown bigger throughout the decades. He and Shirley welcomed their daughter, Debbby, in 1956. She married her husband, Gabriel Ferrer, in 1979, and they have four children together.

Pat Boone and his wife Shirley in Los Angeles in 2013 | Source: Getty Images

Debby is also musically talented, like her father. Some of her biggest hits include “You Light Up My Life” and “Keep the Flame Burning.” She’s also a three-time Grammy Award winner with ten nominations.

Pat shared a family picture from Thanksgiving with all his daughters. Debby, in a pink turtleneck, beamed as she sat in between her sisters.

Linda, seated on the far left, has overcome some serious obstacles in her life. When her son Ryan was a little boy, he fell three stories from a skylight roof and crushed his skull.

Several doctors told Linda her son would be vegetative even if he survived the severe injuries. But she did not give up on her child. She prayed to God to get him better, and after much medical attention, Ryan was said to be doing much better than doctors had predicted.

Ryan’s accident resulted in extreme anxiety toward men he feels threatened by, but Linda revealed that she relies on medical marijuana to help calm him down.

Linda also said Ryan got along with her father and all the other men in her family, but his anxiety limited the type of places they could go to. However, when they have to go to church, she gives him a brownie with medical marijuana, which helps calm him down.

The actor has also not stopped working; in 2022, he starred in the movie “The Mulligan Movie.” He also published a book, “If,” where he speaks about how his faith in God changed his life and made him a superstar.

In 2022, Pat revealed several of his Christmas songs were not released and would be made available on streaming platforms for fans to enjoy. Apart from working on new music, in his free time, his guilty pleasure is driving luxury cars.

While Pat is enjoying his life alone, he confessed that should he be allowed to see Shirley he would drop dead immediately. The singer hopes that he and his wife will still share the same love in heaven.