Kristoffer Polaha’s Family Mourns Huge Loss: ‘What a Woman’

Kristoffer Polaha

Heavy/Getty Kristoffer Polaha and his family are mourning the death of his mother-in-law.

The family of Hallmark star Kristoffer Polaha is mourning the death of his mother-in-law, NilaVae Lanier Morris, who died at age 90 on February 27, 2024, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Polaha has spoken about how Morris struggled with Alzheimer’s in recent years, but she is being remembered as a vibrant, compassionate, and faith-focused wife, mom, and businesswoman.

On March 2, Polaha paid tribute to Morris — the mother of his wife, former “Days of Our Lives” actress Julianne Morris Polaha — by tweaking a famous line from “Hamlet” on Instagram.

Alongside a photo of Julianne with her mom at their wedding, the “A Biltmore Christmas” star wrote, “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet lady. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Famous Friends Offer Condolences to Kristoffer Polaha’s Family After the Death of His Mother-in-Law

A funeral service was held for Morris on March 1 in Orlando, according to her obituary, in which her family detailed her full and fascinating life, from working as a “nurse on a luxury train going from Miami to New York City” when she was a teenager to hobnobbing with the rich and famous while traveling the world as a “stewardess for Pan American.”

“What a woman,” the lengthy tribute reads. “A Miami Beach yacht was named after her. A business associate from Egypt named his daughter after her, and later a friend of her son’s named his daughter after her. There’s just nothing like Nila Vae.”

After marrying Max Folsom Morris, per her obituary, the Florida native became a mom to daughter Julianne and son Scott. She also helped her husband launch “two nationally-known companies” and a “mission for children in Latin America she named GLOW, an acronym for God’s Little Ones Worldwide.”

The obituary also highlighted Morris’ devotion to her Christian faith, calling her “a tireless and inventive evangelist” and “prayer warrior.”

Multiple celebrity friends offered their sympathies to Polaha and his family in the comment section of his post.

Sharon Lawrence, one of Polaha’s co-stars in 2016’s “Hearts of Christmas,” wrote, “Condolences Kris. Sorry for the ache of this earthly parting. Her perfect love and influence lives on in your boys and your hearts.”

Former Hallmark “Home and Family” host Debbie Matenopoulos commented, “😢🥺I’m so sorry for your loss sweet friend. Sending you and your family so much and prayers. 🙏🏻💔”

Polaha’s “A Dickens of a Holiday” co-star, Brooke D’Orsay,” wrote, “My heart is with you 💔”

Kristoffer Polaha Recently Spoke About His Mother-in-Law’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis With Nikki DeLoach & Ashley Williams

In September, Kristoffer Polaha shared a bit about his mother-in-law’s struggle with dementia in the final years of her life. He joined fellow Hallmark stars Nikki DeLoach and Ashley Williams for an Instagram Live chat to promote their 2023 fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.

During their discussion, Polaha shared that Morris had been struggling with Alzheimer’s for the past five years and called it “the wildest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“All three of us have been personally affected by somebody who’s got this disease,” Polaha said. “It is the worst. I think in a weird way, you get used to somebody disappearing slowly, so they call it the long goodbye. But I think it’s really important to know that there’s a community of people who are out there…for the caregivers, for people like Julianne who are taking care of somebody who does not recognize them anymore and the pain that that involves, it’s a real thing. And so what you guys are doing and the money that you’re raising is unbelievable.”

While attending the event in Nashville, Polaha reiterated that to Southern Living magazine.

“My wife’s mother is living with the disease,” he said. “She’s still alive but she’s not who she used to be. And so Alzheimer’s hit home in a real way for us…They call it the long goodbye. It’s affected every single person in our family so finding a cure, if there is a way to find a fix for that you would be saving families.”