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Leeza Gibbons Mourns the Death of Her Mother

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Leeza Gibbons is mourning the death of her mother Gloria Jean, who passed away May 22 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. She was 72.

“My mom was emancipated recently from the prison of confusion that has kept her hostage for a decade,” the former Dancing with the Stars contestant wrote on her Web site. “Gloria Jean Dyson Gibbons left a legacy of love and change that is powerful and beautiful.”

Inspired by her mother’s struggle with the disease, Gibbons formed the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation and Leeza’s Place, which provides support for patients and caregivers dealing with chronic illness in eight locations nationwide.

“I want to thank all those who have offered thoughts, prayers and support,” the former Entertainment Tonight and Extra host continued. “You wrapped us in a safe blanked of love as we grieve.”