Martina McBride and her family have suffered a terrible personal loss. The singer's father-in-law, John Douglas McBride, has passed away.

According to his obituary, McBride died "peacefully" on Dec. 30, 2016 at the age of 85. He was preceded in death by his wife, Flavia; his parents, Kathleen and James McBride of Wichita, Kan.; and his siblings, Marilyn, James, Kathleen and Charles.

McBride was a native of Kansas and graduated from Wichita East High School. He received a B.A. and J.D. in law from Kansas University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

He served in the United States Air Force out of Portsmouth, N.H., then practiced law in Wichita for five years, after which he returned to school to earn his Masters in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University and his Doctorate of Anthropology at Wichita State University.

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McBride then worked as a professor of anthropology and business at Wichita State, where he headed up both departments for years and became a favorite professor among his students.

He was an avid music fan, especially jazz and classical, which may very well have helped lead his son John to develop an interest in the music business, where he met his wife Martina when she was an aspiring singer. The younger John later worked as a sound man for Garth Brooks, who in turn helped give Martina McBride her start in Nashville. The couple now own and operate Blackbird Studio, one of Nashville's most respected and busiest recording studio complexes.

John Douglas McBride also enjoyed writing letters, telling stories and reading, with James Thurber and Aldous Huxley among his favorite authors. He was an avid fan of bridge, tennis and sports, and entertained those around him with an intellectual sense of humor. His obituary describes his last moments as "extraordinarily dignified and peaceful."

He is survived by his younger sister, Nancy Stewart of Tyler, Texas; his children, daughter Katharine (James) O'Mara of Vancouver, Canada; sons, John (Martina) McBride of Nashville, Tenn.; James (Jan) McBride of Overland Park, Kan.; Charles (Jennifer) McBride of Irvine, Calif.; twelve grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

A gathering to celebrate his life took place on Saturday (Jan. 7), and Martina McBride turned to Instagram to share a touching photo of the table around which many family gatherings had taken place over the years, writing, "I've had more great meals and great memories around this table than I can count. My mother-in-law was a fantastic cook and an amazing hostess and right beside her for 59 years was her husband John. They were two of the best people I have ever known. She left us 2 years ago and we have said our goodbyes to them both now. I'm just happy that they are together again."

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