Yoko Ono has spoken warmly of John Lennon's first wife Cynthia Lennon, saying that she was "a great person" who had "a strong zest for life". The tribute comes after Cynthia sadly passed away following a battle with cancer. She died with her and John's son Julian by her side, her family have said.
"I'm very saddened by Cynthia's death. She was a great person and a wonderful mother to Julian," Yoko, 82, said. "She had such a strong zest for life and I felt proud how we two women stood firm in the Beatles family. Please join me in sending love and support to Julian at this very sad time."
Cynthia was married to the Beatles great John Lennon from 1962 to 1968. She died on Wednesday "following a short but brave battle with cancer" at her home in Majorca at the age of 75. "Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout," a rep told HELLO! "The family are thankful for your prayers. Please respect their privacy at this difficult time."
Paul McCartney also expressed his sadness upon learning of her death: "The news of Cynthia's passing is very sad. She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days together in Liverpool," the singer said in a statement. "She was a good mother to Julian and will be missed by us all, but I will always have great memories of our times together."
Cynthia met the legendary musician while the two were both studying at the Liverpool College of Art in the late 1950's, but she lived out of the limelight as she raised the couple’s son and John rose to fame.
The Beatle eventually married Yoko Ono in 1969 after the couple split. They were married at the time of John's tragic death in 1980. Cynthia, meanwhile, was married three more times, most recently to
Noel Charles who died in 2013.
She is survived by her son Julian, who posted an "In Loving Memory" video on YouTube that starts with the lyrics, "You gave your life for me. You gave your life for love." The video is coupled with intimate pictures of the Lennon family from the 1960's.