Dolly Parton joined her family for a private memorial for her brother Floyd Parton on Monday (Dec. 10), and then shared her gratitude to those who offered a kind word as the siblings mourn the 61-year-old's death.

"Dolly, and the entire Parton Family, wish to thank everyone for their kindness," she tells People. "Yesterday, we laid our sweet baby brother to rest. We all sang his lovely song, ‘Rockin’ Years,’ together as a family at the service to say goodbye to him. He lived a short life of love and beautiful songs."

"Rockin' Years" was a song Parton recorded with Ricky Van Shelton in the early '90s. It was her most recent No. 1 hit. Floyd Parton's obituary notes that he was an accomplished songwriter who also wrote "Nickels and Dimes," a song recorded by Dolly and later George Burns.

The cause of the songwriter's death has not been revealed, but Radar Online had reported in November that he was ill and in the hospital. Sister Stella Parton tweeted a photo of the two of them together on the day of his death, writing, "And Jesus said to him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. Have a beautiful day on this bright and brisk Thursday. I am spending the day with my beautiful brother Floyd."

He is survived by his siblings, their spouses and several nephews and nieces. The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the My People Senior Activity Center at 1220 W. Main Street, Sevierville, Tenn., 37862. People reports that Dolly Parton asked for donations to be made in Floyd's name.

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