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Brad Paisley’s Mother-in-Law Dies Following Long Dementia Battle

Linda Payne Williams, the mother of actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and mother-in-law of Brad Paisley, has passed away, after a long battle with dementia.

Williams, who was 73 when she died on Wednesday (Nov. 16), was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia — a rare, incurable form of early-onset dementia — in 2005, though her daughter recalls seeing signs in 2002, when her mother was just 59 years old. During her lifetime, Williams worked as a foreign correspondent, then a fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Since 2012, she had been living in a long-term care facility, when her husband, Gurney Williams, could no longer care for her at home.

In April, Williams-Paisley released Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, a memoir. Previously, the actress told People that her husband has helped her cope with her mother’s diagnosis.

“He’s been amazing,” Williams-Paisley says of Paisley, to whom she’s been married since 2003. “More than anything, he keeps me laughing. That’s the best. He’s got this dry sense of humor.”

“We are so touched by the outpouring of sympathy for Kim’s mom,” Paisley wrote on Facebook late Thursday night (Nov. 17). “Thank you all. After her long battle with this terrible disease, she is free.”

Williams is survived by her husband, her sister, her three children and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (for which Williams-Paisley is a spokesperson) or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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