Glen Campbell + Kim Campbell: A Love Story in Sickness and in Health

Sometimes it takes a while for you to find your person and Glen Campbell and fourth wife Kim Campbell's love story is a testament to sticking by your partner until the very end.

The singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjo player had been married three times before meeting Kim — to Diane Kirk, Billie Jean Nunley and Sarah Barg. He also had a highly publicized relationship with fellow country star, Tanya Tucker. But in 1981, pal Carl Jackson set Campbell up on a blind date with Kimberly Woolen, a former Radio City Rockette dancer. The couple was married the following year and stayed together until Campbell's death in 2017. Jackson said that Campbell's wife Kim helped Glen as he was battling drug and alcohol abuse.

"Glen wouldn't have made it through those times without her," Jackson told Parade. "I'll go as far sometimes as to say Kim saved his life."

Country singer Glen Campbell, who has Alzheimer's disease, stands with his wife Kim during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 15, 2012.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Despite a relapse, Kim stayed by her husband's side. They had three children together, Cal Campbell, Shannon Campbell and Ashley Campbell.

In 2009, Campbell started having the occasional memory lapse. Two years later, he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Kim took care of her husband at their home in Phoenix, Arizona, and the "Rhinestone Cowboy" singer was forced to officially retire in 2013. 

The 2014 documentary I'll Be Me follows Campbell's farewell tour and centers on his battle with Alzheimer's.

Read More: Glen Campbell's Widow on 2 Years Without Him: 'The Sadness Lingers'

After a four year battle, Campbell passed away in 2017. After taking care of him throughout the painful process, Kim had time to prepare herself.

"It's such a long, long goodbye that you're conditioned already to accept it," she told PEOPLE. "But you carry around the sadness with you for so many years. The sadness lingers."

In honor of her late husband, Kim helped organize the archives of his life for The Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. 

"I feel like it's a way to honor him, and I want to do everything I can to preserve his legacy and to share it with future generations."

She added that she found it important to compile his memories because of his important contribution to country music. 

"No one did more for country music than Glen Campbell, because when he had his TV show, he brought country music to the forefront," she said. "He made the country fall in love with country music. It's so appropriate and right that he has a presence in Nashville, which is the heart of country music."

To celebrate and honor her 34-year marriage with Campbell, Kim released a memoir of their relationship later this year, Gentle on My Mind: In Sickness and in Health With Glen Campbell.

When announcing the news to People she explained that she was married to her best friend.

"He remained humble even though he was one of the best looking and most talented men on the planet, often jesting, 'I don't think I'm half as good as I really am,'" she said. "Armed with a sense of humor and strengthened by our faith in God, we weathered the storms of Glen's battles with alcoholism, drug addiction and ultimately Alzheimer's. To celebrate our remarkable life together I am sharing our incredible love story in my new book, Gentle On My Mind: In Sickness and in Health with Glen Campbell."

The book gives Kim's first-hand account of meeting Campbell on their first date, interactions with other famous country stars, and how she stood by his side throughout his Alzheimer's battle. But the main message really is how Kim was the embodiment of sticking by her husband, "in sickness and in health" during their entire marriage.

This article was originally published in May of 2020.

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