Kix Brooks has lost his older sister, Midge. The singer shared via social media Thursday (Feb. 20) that he was on his way to Maine to pay his final respects.

Mary Margaret Brooks was born in Shreveport, La. in 1950. She graduated from Northwestern University, where she met her husband Stewart Vreeland on a blind date in 1971. The couple married in 1973 and settled in Maine, where they opened an advertising agency, Vreeland Marketing & Design.

According to Kix Brooks' bio at his Arrington Vineyards website, he got his start in music while working for Midge and her husband after graduating Louisiana Tech with a degree in theater arts.

He worked for them at their advertising company, writing radio ads, and began moonlighting at night, playing bars and coffee shops in the area. That soon led him to Nashville, where he scored a publishing deal and started on the past that led him to stardom with Brooks & Dunn.

Taste of Country reports that Brooks was scheduled to appear at a Sony Music event on board the General Jackson in Nashville Thursday night as part of the 2014 Country Radio Seminar, but had to cancel to spend time with family.

According to her obituary, Midge suffered a recurrence of breast cancer in 2010, which metastasized to her brain. She continued to work every day until she and Stewart sold their agency in late 2013. The couple attended the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Kix and Barbara Brooks. She passed away on Monday (Feb. 17) at her home, surrounded by family and friends.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for Saturday, Feb. 22, featuring "loud ties, happy shoes and sunglasses (optional, but they look sharp and hide a certain amount of tears)."

The Boot extends our condolences to Kix Brooks and his family.