Maria Hawkins Cole, the mother of Natalie Cole, has lost battle against cancer, and passed away Tuesday, July 10 in a nursing home in Boca Raton surrounded by her family. She will be laid to rest next to her husband Nat King Cole, who died in 1965 at the age of 45. She was 89.
"I just want to thank everyone for their prayers & loving support. Mom has passed, gone to Glory, July 10th 2012. She will be next to Dad at Forest Lawn," Natalie tweeted. Four days earlier, she wrote, "On my way back to Florida- Mom is fading fast....please pray for the family!"
In a longer message, Natalie paid tribute to her mother on her official website. "Our mom was in a class all by herself. She epitomized class and elegance and truly defined what it is to be a real lady," the 62-year-old singer gushed.
She continued, "We are so blessed and privileged to have inherited the legacy that she leaves behind along with our father. She died how she lived: with great strength, courage and dignity, surrounded by her loving family."