Pat Boone Says Farewell

Pat Boone’s wife, Shirley, passed away Friday morning surrounded by her husband and four children singing hymns.

Though grief-stricken, Pat told PEOPLE he takes solace in his belief this is not the final farewell for him and his wife of 65 years, who suffered complications from vasculitis.

“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 said of his high school sweetheart. “She’s changed her address is all and moved to a different mansion that I expect to join her in one day.”

I’m very confident of that,” Pat added. “That took the sting out of what happened today because we know we’re gonna be together again and have a whole new beginning.”

Shirley, 84, was known for her devout Christian faith and humanitarian work, including founding the charity that became Mercy Corps, a major worldwide hunger relief organization.

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