Vivian Gilley, wife of country singer Mickey Gilley for over 50 years, has died. She was 80 years old and passed away on Friday, Dec. 13, a press release shared. In recent years, Vivian was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
Vivian was born Vivian McDonald on Aug. 10, 1939, to Dora and Reagan McDonald, and married Mickey on Dec. 27, 1962. Two years later, Mickey released his debut album, Lonely Wine. Vivian was by his side through all of Mickey's success, and she helped manage the legendary club, Gilley's, in Pasadena, Texas, which the couple opened together and was the setting for the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. She later helped manage her husband's career was also a founding member of the New Life Community Church.
After her Alzheimer's diagnosis, she was placed in an assisted living home last year. "The family would like to thank the Cottages at Clear Lake and Dignity Hospice for their care and diligence in this journey," the release shares.
On Thursday, Mickey had told fans on Twitter that his wife would be passing shortly.
"2019 has been a year of heart break! My wife of 57 years has only a few hrs left," he wrote. "This is the saddest time of my life. Prayer is needed. Luv mg."
Vivian is survived by her husband, their son Gregory, stepchildren Keith (Joyce), Kathy and Micheal (Susan), her brother Larry (Brenda), four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and her nieces and nephews. Services for Vivian will be private, and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Vivian to a non-profit funding Alzheimer's research and care.
Fans are also invited to leave messages of condolence to Mickey and the family on Mickey's Facebook page.
Mickey Gilley found success in country music in the '60s and '70s, moving toward country-pop in the '80s after the success of Urban Cowboy. He has charted 42 singles in the top 40 on the US Country chart and 17 No. 1 hits overall.
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