Merlyn Mantle, widow of Mickey, dies

Aug. 11, 2009 at 2:00 PM
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PLANO, Texas, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Merlyn Mantle, the widow of baseball great Mickey Mantle, has died in Plano, Texas, at age 77 from Alzheimer's disease, a family spokesman said.

Mantle died Monday at a hospice facility, spokesman Marty Appel said.

Mantle, born Merlyn Louise Johnson in Cardin, Okla., married her husband Dec. 23, 1951, after his rookie season, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The two, who were married for 43 years, met in 1949 when he was a high school baseball star in northeast Oklahoma and she was a cheerleader at a rival school. Mickey Mantle, a Hall of Fame Yankees outfielder, died in 1995.

Merlyn Mantle is survived by two of their sons, David, 53, and Danny, 49; four grandchildren and a sister, Pat LaFalier of Miami.

She is to be buried in Dallas next to her husband and sons Mickey Jr. and Billy at Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, the Times reported.

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