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'Toughest' of the Gretzkys, Phyllis dies at 64

Updated: December 20, 2005, 8:39 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Phyllis Gretzky, the mother of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, died Monday night, the Phoenix Coyotes said. She was 64.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer late in 2004 and died two nights after her son took an indefinite leave of absence as coach of the Coyotes to return home to Ontario to be with her.

"Throughout my career, she was in the background but she was the glue," Wayne Gretzky said at the time of his mother's diagnosis. "She's always been the toughest ...

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