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      Jane Nebel Henson, Muppets co-creator, dies at 79

      Jane Henson, left, donates some of Jim Henson's early puppets, including the original Kermit, to the Smithsonian Institution, during a ceremony at the National Museum of American History, in Washington, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

      Jane Nebel Henson, the wife of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died.

      The 79-year-old died Tuesday her Connecticut home following a battle with cancer.

      The couple met at the University of Maryland in a puppetry class in 1954 and married five years later. They had five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather. The pair separated in 1986, and Jim Henson died in 1990.

      In addition to being her husband's business partner, Mrs. Henson was a "performer, puppet designer and builder," CNN reports.

      In 1992, Mrs. Henson created and funded The Jim Henson Legacy to preserve his artistic contributions.

      A memorial Mass for Jane Henson is planned for next week.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.