The entire Duggar family is mourning the loss of patriarch Jim Bob’s mother, Grandma Mary Duggar, who died suddenly on June 9, 2019, at the age of 78.
Jill Dillard broke the news to fans on Instagram, writing, “My heart breaks 💔 My grandma died suddenly today!”
Grandma Mary was very involved in her grandchildren’s — and great-grandchildren’s — lives. She appeared regularly on 19 Kids and Counting and the spin-off Counting On. She was adored by everyone in her family.
After her death, many members of the Duggar family took to Instagram to express their heartbreak and share their memories. Although they are all struggling with the sudden loss, they’re finding peace in their religion.
Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo wrote: “Yesterday, this precious woman went home to be with Jesus. Our hearts are broken, yet at peace, knowing that she is now in glory with her Savior.”
“Yesterday, our precious Grandma Duggar went to be with Lord,” shared Josiah and Lauren Duggar.
Two days after Grandma Mary passed away, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald took to Instagram to share an emotional tribute.
Grandma Mary, matriarch of the Duggar family, died suddenly on June 9, 2019. She was 78 years old.
Grandma Mary was Jim Bob’s mother. She loved having so many grandchildren, and she adored meeting her new great-grandchildren.
She was deeply involved in the lives of all her grandchildren. She regularly spent time with each of the 19 Duggar kids, as well as all of their little ones.
According to Jessa, she was the epitome of a grandmother figure. Jessa explained: “It didn’t matter who you were, she was ‘Grandma’ to you. That’s most often how she would introduce herself. ‘Hi, I’m Grandma!’ Everybody called her Grandma.”
In a lengthy tribute post on her blog, The Seewalds, Jessa shared some touching insights into Grandma Mary’s life. She explained that first and foremost, she was an exceptionally caring woman: “She took a genuine interest in people. She would converse with you in a way that made you feel special and loved and cared about. She had a knack for remembering details, and the next time she saw you, she would inquire about things told to her in past conversations.”
Grandma Mary was a very kind woman, and she gave everything she had to her family. If someone needed something, she was there.
Jessa wrote: “Each one of us was made to feel valued and loved by Grandma. She was our biggest cheerleader, coming to every music recital, birthday party, and graduation celebration— and with 21 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids, that was quite a feat!”
In addition to caring deeply for her family, she also had professional ambitions.
“She was a successful businesswoman,” explained Jessa. “She was the third generation in the Duggar family to become a Real Estate agent and was delighted to see her son and several of her grandkids follow in her footsteps and carry it on to the fourth and fifth generations.”
Grandma Mary also loved to travel. From road trips around the US to intercontinental trips, she loved it all. Her favorite travel destination was Israel, and she remembered her trip there as “one of her greatest experiences in life,” explained Jessa.
Despite her personal ambitions, she always put others before herself. She was a devoted wife and mother and gave everything to her family.
When her husband got sick, she took her vow of “in sickness and in health” very seriously. Jessa explained, “For months upon months, she faithfully cared for his every need until cancer took him from her arms.”
In her post, Jessa went into detail about how much her grandmother cared for everyone in her family. Jessa wrote, “Mom said she’d sneak in the back door just to load the dishwasher or throw in a load or two of laundry, and then head out before we’d realized what she’d done.”
“She was so selfless and giving,” Jessa continued, “not seeking recognition or reward for her efforts.”
Jessa also joked about how thrifty and resourceful Grandma Mary was. She was constantly on the hunt for a bargain, and she never let things go to waste.
Of course, most recently, the thing that brought her joy was her great-grandbabies. She was thrilled to meet baby Ivy a few weeks ago (Ivy was actually born on Grandma Mary’s birthday). She was looking forward to meeting all the new babies who are due to be born this fall (Josh and Anna’s sixth baby, Joe and Kendra’s second baby, Joy and Austin’s second baby, and Josiah and Lauren’s first baby).
Jessa wrote: “She was so excited about the many new great-grandbabies due this coming fall and winter, and it never got old for her. She welcomed each new baby with joy and would hold them with such tenderness and delight. We will keep her stories and memories alive for these little ones, but we’re sad that they will not have the blessing of knowing her in person as we have.”
Jessa’s emotional tribute concluded with the following statement:
“As we look back and reflect on the gift God gave us in Grandma Duggar, we are so grateful. How we wish we would’ve hugged her more, said ‘I love you’ more, and spoken more of those sentiments to her while she was here with us. She was deeply loved, and she impacted the lives of so many people.
“While we weep over our loss, we realize that she has been united with the person she loved more than anyone here on this earth. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
“We love you, Grandma.”