With several songs like the blockbusters “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “State Affair,” singer and actor Pat Boone won over many hearts. However, he wasn’t just good at movies. He gained fame through the release of popular songs like “The Love Letters in the Sand.”
His wife, Shirley Jones, whom he fell in love with when they first met when he was 16 years old, served as his motivation for creating such uplifting music. Boone was a basketball player for his high school, and Shirley was a new transfer student.
He remembered watching his coach conversing with this lovely girl. They instantly clicked after he asked his coach to introduce them. They immediately began dating.
The singer would later admit that they did not kiss for the first nine months because they were truly in love and he did not want their relationship to be merely platonic. When Shirley’s family had to relocate, there was a first-time threat of separation, but Boone fought for his love.
He felt it was the proper time to ask her father, country music superstar Red Foley, for her hand after realizing he would lose her. Foley inquired of Boone while crying:
Will you look after my girl?
Boone promised to do so, and Foley cried as he remembered that the original plan had been for him to take his daughter with him, but that he would now have to leave her behind. The couple eventually got married at age 19.
Although Shirley and Boone’s marriage was unique and they had difficulties like any other couple would, they made the decision to work through them. From their 65-year marriage to Shirley’s dying in 2019, they remained together.
The two fled together in November 1953, landing in Teaneck, New Jersey, where they had four daughters in the following five years. Boone worked his way through the demanding Columbia University program, and Shirley raised their daughters. They supported one another through these endeavors.
Together, they later relocated to Beverly Hills, where they spent the majority of their lives while also enjoying the company of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Boone would remark about his cherished wife:
Being a decent wife, mother, and grandma as well as building happy homes was what would make her the happiest.
Boone’s music helped him become well-known, but Shirley rose to prominence as a best-selling author, humanitarian, TV hostess, and recording artist. The couple took multiple “honeymoons” together on long ocean journeys to maintain their marriage.
Boone acknowledged that although their union seemed to be the definition of perfection, it had not always been that way. As a young couple starting out, they had a lot of difficulties in their relationship.
They managed to overcome their obstacles eventually. The “April Love” singer admitted that not keeping secrets from one another is one method to make a youthful relationship succeed. He suggests that young couples talk through their issues and not harbor resentments:
“Your physical and mental distance from one another will increase as you keep your emotions hidden from one another. Never stop supporting one another and sharing your deepest aspirations.”
While being honest in their marriage contributed to their longer marriage, their faith was a major factor in the union’s success. Boone said that while their union was far from perfect, it was made easier by union with a lovely woman:
You make your pledges to God and to each other, and you hold fast to your commitment to God and to your children during difficult times.