"Yesterday, we laid our sweet baby brother to rest," the Parton family said in a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday

By Jordan Runtagh and Sarah Michaud
December 11, 2018 04:45 PM
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Dolly Parton honored her late brother with a song at a private memorial service in Tennessee on Monday. Floyd Estel Parton, her longtime songwriting partner, died last Thursday at the age of 61.

“Dolly, and the entire Parton Family, wish to thank everyone for their kindness,” said the Parton family in a statement to PEOPLE Tuesday. “Yesterday, we laid our sweet baby brother to rest. We all sang his lovely song, ‘Rockin’ Years,’ together as a family at the service to say goodbye to him. He lived a short life of love and beautiful songs.”

The statement concluded with an invitation make a donation in Floyd’s honor to the My People Senior Activity Center in Sevierville, Tennessee.

His obituary, listed on Tennessee’s Atchley Funeral Home website, describes Floyd as “a renaissance man” an “a man of many talents and areas of knowledge. He was an avid outdoorsman and had an abundant knowledge of nature as well as being an incredible cook.”

In addition to his love of the outdoors, Floyd was also gifted with musical talents, much like his 72-year-old famous sister. Together the siblings wrote many No. 1 hits, including the 1991 duet “Rockin’ Years” with Ricky Van Shelton — Dolly’s 23rd and Floyd’s eighth — and 1978’s “Nickels and Dimes” from her chart-topping Heartbreaker album.

The youngest Parton sibling, Rachel, previously told PEOPLE how their mother encouraged them to sing at home and at church. “Singing was like breathing at home,” said Rachel, 59.

Floyd is survived by sisters Dolly, Rachel, Willadeene, 78, Stella, 69, Cassie, 67, and Freida, 61, as well as brothers David, 76, Coy Denver, 75, Bobby, 70, and Randy, 64.

Dolly and Floyd’s brother Larry died just four days after his birth in 1955.

Recently, Dolly spoke fondly about her holiday traditions with her brothers and sisters.

Dolly Parton.
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Speaking with Entertainment Weekly earlier this month about her favorite Christmas memories, the country icon, who wrote songs for Netflix’s Dumplin’, recalled making dumplings with her family.

“I’m the best! It’s my favorite dish, of all my brothers and sisters — because I cook just like my mom. My mom’s dead now, but everybody else, they put too much butter, too much lard, they won’t do this and that. But I still cook good!” Parton said.

“I make the best dumplings ever, ever, ever. I even make little containers of it and give to my brothers and sisters for Christmas. I usually cook a big, big pot, and then I’ll always have some for them to take home and freeze and thaw out and eat when they get to missin’ me,” she shared.