Vivian Gilley, wife of legendary country music star Mickey Gilley for nearly 60 years, died on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, after a serious health battle. She was 80 years old.
Gilley was born Vivian McDonald on Aug. 10, 1939, to Dora and Reagan McDonald, and married Mickey on Dec. 27, 1962, a release shared.
In recent years, Gilley, a founding member of the New Life Community Church, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2018, she was moved to a care facility as the effects of the condition grew worse.
On Thursday, Dec. 12, Mickey 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. This is the saddest time of my life. Prayer is needed. Luv mg
— Mickey Gilley (@MickeyGilley1) December 13, 2019
Throughout their time together, Gilley was an integral part of her husband’s success. She ran their own honky-tonk club, Gilley’s, in Pasadena, Texas, which was the setting for the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, and later managed her husband’s career.
Gilley was survived by her husband and their son Gregory. She also leaves behind their stepchildren, brother, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Gilley are to be announced and will be private. Her family is asking for donations to a nonprofit funding Alzheimer’s research and care in her memory in lieu of flowers. Fans are welcome to leave condolences for the family via Mickey’s Facebook page.
Watch the clip below from Urban Cowboy which featured their Gilley’s Club.