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One of TV's largest families is currently going through a mourning period. Counting On's Mary "Grandma" Duggar, mother of 19 Kids and Counting patriarch Jim Bob Duggar, passed away over the weekend. She was 78 years old.
News of Grandma Duggar's death was shared online by the family's official social media pages, as well as by several of her grandchildren. She's said to have died suddenly on Sunday afternoon, according to granddaughter Jill Dillard. However, no official cause of death was reported there or afterward.
Mary Duggar was born on May 26, 1941, and grew up in Farmington, Arkansas. Not much is known about her childhood beyond stories told on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On, but viewers did pick up on a few things over the years from her appearances on both series. While she wasn't part of the main ensemble casts, Grandma Duggar appeared regularly enough to make it into the hearts of millions of TLC viewers over the many years that the Duggar family has been a foundational element of the network's programming.
It is known that Mary Duggar had led a Christ-adoring life as a Christian woman for the majority of her 78 years. References to Jesus are plentiful in posts and messages shared by Mary Duggar's family members in mourning. Below is the aforementioned post from Jill Dillard:
Though she's talking about something that's emotionally devastating, Jill Dillard still manages to make the post come off sounding positive and soul-affirming alongside the black-and-white photo of Mary Duggar and two of her 13 current grandchildren (with more on the way). The amusing bit about trading her old body in for a new one was a nice touch as well.
Below is a post from granddaughter Anna Duggar, whose equally loving and gracious message was accompanied by a selection of photos for fans to look through.
Silly photos like this will hopefully help during the rough patches for Anna and her family.
Joy-Anna (née Duggar) and Austin Forsyth brought up a favorite TV habit when honoring Mary Duggar.
The sometimes estranged family member Amy King, known familiarly as Cousin Amy, also shared her thoughts in an emotional post.
It breaks my heart to write this. My best friend passed away yesterday afternoon. Jesus sure took home a treasure. I'm at a loss for words, shaking as I even type this out. I loved her so much. She helped raise me, we did everything together. We've been on countless trips, we had lunch together 3 times a week, and if we weren't together we were either texting or calling each other. She was so supportive and was so excited to meet our little guy. I just can't believe she is really gone... thank you for the kind messages and every prayer lifted up for our family and I during this difficult time. .My heart just hurts and my life will never be the same. Mema you will always be so precious to me and you were such a light who impacted so many lives. You lived joyously, and beautifully..and I will miss you every single day.. I know though you are in perfect peace and we will see you again.
Here's a post from Si and Lauren Duggar that features another female, family-filled photo.
CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Mary Duggar during this sad time.