12/07/2011 at 08:35 AM EST
Barbara Orbison, the widow of Roy Orbison, died Tuesday in Los Angeles, 23 years to the day after her rock 'n' roll husband passed away in Tennessee.
Barbara was 60 and had pancreatic cancer, the Associated Press
reports. She had been hospitalized since May.
The couple met in 1968, when he was 32 and she was 17. They married the following year and raised three sons together. Barbara spent the years after Roy's death managing his estate and legacy.
A quote from Roy Orbison about his wife appears on the singer's official website. "I've spent my lifetime trying to figure love out," it reads. "Love ranges from just fascination to something almost spiritual. In the case with my wife Barbara it just keeps growing all the time."
The Orbisons were friends with Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa. On Tuesday, Lisa Swayze, whose husband also died of pancreatic cancer,
told the AP: "Patrick and I always had a warm connection with them both. Now we have lost this wonderful lady."
Barbara Orbison will be buried next to her husband at L.A.'s Westwood Village Memorial Park.