Sarah Palin's Mom Sally Heath — 'the Rock of the Family' — Dies at 80

“For our family, she’s always been the best part of our world," said Palin, the Republican 2008 vice presidential nominee

Sarah Palin; Sally Heath
Sarah Palin (left) and Sally Heath in October 2008. Photo: Don Emmert-Pool/Getty Images

Sarah Palin's mom, Sally Sheeran Heath, has died at the age of 80.

Heath died Tuesday, according to an emotional tribute Palin posted Thursday night on Instagram. Palin, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, did not disclose her mom's cause of death.

"We kissed mom goodbye," she wrote on Instagram "For our family, she's always been the best part of our world. Mom lived with such purpose and intention to do good - always - for others. We'll miss her more than anything."

The politician-turned-conservative personality, 56, had asked last Saturday for "prayers for our beautiful mama," sharing photos of her mother on the 2008 campaign trail and more recent photos of her at home.

Heath was a former school secretary and was considered by family friends as "the rock of the family," according to a 2008 New York Times profile on Palin.

Sally Heath; Sarah Palin
Sally Heath (left) and Sarah Palin in October 2008. Ron Edmonds/AP/Shutterstock

Heath is survived by her husband, Chuck Heath, as well as their four children, including Palin. According to Palin's tribute, the Heaths shared 28 kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Palin's daughter Bristol mourned her grandmother's death in a tribute as well.

"Heaven gained an angel yesterday as our dearest grandma Sal passed away peacefully, and surrounded by her loved ones," Bristol, 30, wrote. "She was overflowing with grace. the most selfless, wholesome part of life. We will forever be grateful for everything that she has instilled in our family and those around her."

Palin's daughter Willow also remembered her late grandmother. "The most selfless, kind hearted, beautiful person inside and out," she wrote on Instagram. "We love you so much and will miss you more than you can imagine... we lost a good one."

Earlier this year, Palin had congratulated her parents on their 59th wedding anniversary — and on Thursday shared more recent photos that appeared to be from last month's holidays.

"I wish everyone could know how unconditional love, for which Mom is known, equips and empowers the recipient of that love," Palin wrote. "It births fearlessness. We knew she was our forever advocate on earth, and will now intercede directly to the throne."

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