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Pat Boone Credits 'Virtuous' Wife for His Ability to Graduate at 23 with a Booming Acting Career & 4 Kids

Junie Sihlangu
Jul 23, 2022
10:20 P.M.
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Shirley Boone was instrumental in ensuring her husband, Pat Boone, graduated from university before age 25. She'd also given him four children by that age and was the wind beneath his wings up until her death.

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On February 4, 2019, CBN News released a previous interview that Pat Boone sat down for to discuss his relationship with his wife, Shirley Foley, the daughter of country musician Red Foley. The singer revealed that they fell in love in high school at age 16.

He revealed how they held hands from the moment they met. By the tender age of 19, the couple had already married and welcomed four daughters, Lindy, Debby, Cherry, and Laura Boone, over the next four years.

Pat Boone rehearsing a routine with the dance group of ABC-TV's "The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom," circa 1957. | Source: Getty Images

Pat Boone rehearsing a routine with the dance group of ABC-TV's "The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom," circa 1957. | Source: Getty Images

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Pat described his Christian wife as "virtuous" as she managed to stick by his side as he took his family through a "dramatic shift." By age 23, she'd helped her University graduate husband to become a star with records, a thriving acting career, and television shows.

The star reminisced about his and his wife's early start while flipping through family photos as he sat on a couch. The family started appearing in magazines and their covers, showing how wholesome they were.

Pat Boone in London with his four daughters, Cherry, Laury, Lindy, and Debby, on January 24, 1962. | Source: Getty Images

Pat Boone in London with his four daughters, Cherry, Laury, Lindy, and Debby, on January 24, 1962. | Source: Getty Images

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Despite the fame, Pat could go to church weekly with his family and spend time with them, no matter what. The musician also gave his wife credit for all their philanthropic endeavors, which she didn't like boasting about.

One of the organizations Shirley helped create was Save The Refugee, to assist suffering people in Cambodia, which morphed into the large charity Mercy Corps. The singer's wife was also instrumental in other efforts.

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She helped Jews find settlements in Israel from Iron Curtain countries while being a mother to four children! The couple also assisted in founding the Boone Center for the Family, with Pat proudly revealing:

"Whatever I did, Shirley was half of it."

The star explained that whenever thoughts about leaving his wife came to him, he'd look at his children and Shirley, realizing he was their only chance at the kind of family and marriage he wanted.

PAT AND SHIRLEY'S SOLID 65-YEAR-OLD MARRIAGE, BECOMING GRANDPARENTS AND DISCUSSING DEATH

Pat Boone with his wife Shirley and their three daughters before boarding a plane in New York City, on October 25, 1957. | Source: Getty Images

Pat Boone with his wife Shirley and their three daughters before boarding a plane in New York City, on October 25, 1957. | Source: Getty Images

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Shirley and Pat managed to have a solid marriage for 65 years. In their daughter's book, "Heaven Hears: The True Story of What Happened When Pat Boone Asked the World ...," Lindy Boone Michaelis shared about her parents becoming grandparents.

She revealed that out of her three siblings, she was the first one who made Pat and Shirley grandparents! Lindy noted how "thrilled" her father was to welcome a little boy, Ryan Corbin, into the family.

Pat, Shirley, Cheryl Lynn, Deborah Ann, and Linda Lee Boone on August 28, 1957. | Source: Getty Images

Pat, Shirley, Cheryl Lynn, Deborah Ann, and Linda Lee Boone on August 28, 1957. | Source: Getty Images

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The musician's child shared how Pat had always wanted a son and proudly wore a big pin on his sweater that read, "Congratulations! It's a boy!" The star and his wife became first-time grandparents at the age of 42.

The couple decided their grandchildren would call them "Daddy Pat" and "Mama Shirley." Lindy welcomed two children, Ryan and Jessica, while married to her first husband, Douglas J. Corbin.

Laury, Lindy, Pat, Shirley, Debby, and Cherry Boone at a taping for "Pat Boone and Family" on March 31, 1978, in Hollywood. | Source: Getty Images

Laury, Lindy, Pat, Shirley, Debby, and Cherry Boone at a taping for "Pat Boone and Family" on March 31, 1978, in Hollywood. | Source: Getty Images

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According to IMDb, she welcomed one more child during her second and current marriage to Charles Mike Michaelis. In February 2020, Pat spoke to The Orange County Register (TOCR) about doing one last concert in Southern California.

He said one of the songs he would sing was "You And I," a track he wrote for his beloved wife that talks about how they'd meet up and be together again in heaven. The singer explained how he'd written the single after they'd watched the film "The Notebook."

Shirley and Pat Boone in a promotional photo for the "Pat Boone and Family Easter Special," on April 15, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

Shirley and Pat Boone in a promotional photo for the "Pat Boone and Family Easter Special," on April 15, 1979. | Source: Getty Images

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Pat recalled how they'd watched the movie one night at their Hawaii home. It had the couple talking about whether they'd still be married when they arrived in heaven or not, with the musician stating to his wife:

"I hope we’re going to be Pat and Shirley Boone in heaven, not just two amorphous angels who maybe rub wings every eon or so and wonder if we knew each other in a former life."

LOSING THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE BUT KNOWING HE'D SEE HER AGAIN

Pat Boone in London to attend the premiere of his film, "The Main Attraction," on October 22, 1962. | Source: Getty Images

Pat Boone in London to attend the premiere of his film, "The Main Attraction," on October 22, 1962. | Source: Getty Images

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In January 2019, the gospel music singer's wife sadly passed away at their Beverly Hills at age 84. She died peacefully after suffering complications from vasculitis, a disease she contracted less than a year ago.

In August 2020, when Closer Weekly asked him [Pat Boone] how he was doing after the loss of his wife [Shirley Boone]...

The star's wife was surrounded by Pat and their four daughters in her final moments. Shirley left for the next plane surrounded by music, while her loving family sat by her bedside and sang hymns to her.

Shirley and Pat Boone at An Evening With Pat Boone at The Grammy Museum on June 2, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Shirley and Pat Boone at An Evening With Pat Boone at The Grammy Museum on June 2, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Speaking about his late high school sweetheart, the singer shared how they'd lived a blessed and wonderful life for 65 years. He heartbreakingly said, "I've parted with my better half for a little while."

However, the star noted that they didn't die but moved on to another place and described the day of his wife's passing as "moving day." Pat believed his love had changed her address and moved to a different mansion where he hoped to join her one day.

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In August 2020, when Closer Weekly asked him how he was doing after the loss of his wife, Pat said, "I'm doing fine. I mean, gosh, I miss her." During his TOCR interview, the musician anticipated that he'd be around for a while, adding:

“But if somebody told me that next Tuesday at three o’clock I was going to drop dead, I would say, ‘Great! At 3:01, I’ll be with Shirley.’ And the Lord, of course.”

Debby and Pat Boone at SiriusXM's Town Hall on November 22, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Debby and Pat Boone at SiriusXM's Town Hall on November 22, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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In his Closer Weekly interview, Shirley's husband revealed that while he waited to be rejoined with his wife, he would continue writing music, count his many blessings, and continue working on a new faith-based book called "If."

Pat described his more than six-decade marriage as his "greatest" Hollywood accomplishment. He shared that alongside that was his life as an entertainer and his four children before noting, "We're living a good life."

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