Carolyn Orton, the mother of Kentucky basketball recruit Daniel Orton, died of complications from lupus on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoman reported on its Web site.
Orton, who has signed with UK, has missed his entire senior season after undergoing knee surgery in November.
"We are deeply saddened with the loss of Carolyn Orton," UK Coach Billy Gillispie said in a statement. "Carolyn was such an inspiration to us all, as kind and caring as anyone I've had the fortune of knowing.
"Carolyn, Larry, Terrance and Daniel have entrenched themselves as members of the Wildcat family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Orton family and loved ones during this time of grief."
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when a body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.