Kimberly Williams-Paisley's Mother Dies After Battle with Dementia
Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s mother, Linda Payne Williams, died Wednesday after a long battle with dementia. She was 73.
The Father of the Bride star confirmed the news on Instagram. “I will remember you this way, Mom. Rest in love and peace,” Williams-Paisley captioned an older photo of her. “Linda Williams: June 22nd, 1943-November 16, 2016 #endalz”
Her mother, who had worked as a foreign correspondent before she became a top fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of early-onset dementia called primary progressive aphasia in 2005.
“She started showing signs when she was 59 and it took a few years to figure it all out,” the actress previously told PEOPLE.
Williams-Paisley recently chronicled her family’s journey with her mother’s dementia in her candid memoir, Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again. In the book, she says she first noticed changes in her Williams’ behavior in 2002, when she told her mom she was getting married to her now-husband, country star Brad Paisley, and was met with silence.
“We are such a close family and I was the first kid to get engaged, and I thought, ‘That’s what it is,’ ” Williams-Paisley told PEOPLE.
William-Paisley’s father, writer and editor Gurney Williams, cared for his wife round the clock until he and his children placed her in a long-term care facility in 2012. Williams shared advice with PEOPLE that he wished he had received when he was “20 years younger and had no clue I’d have to deal with dementia.”
He said, “Now I know that preparation back then would have lessened the burden weighing on my family in recent years. My hope is that readers at any age – including those recently diagnosed and their caregivers – will act on some of these ideas while it’s still possible.”