The Alaskan Bush People family is marking their first Father's Day since the death of patriarch Billy Brown. His sons Bear Brown and Noah Brown shared tributes to him on Instagram Sunday. Brown died on Feb. 7 after suffering a seizure. He was 68.
Noah, 28, shared an old family photo with himself, his wife, Rhain Alisa Brown, his mother, Ami Brown; and his father. In the picture, Rhian is shown carrying Noah and Rhain's now-2-year-old son Eli Brown. Eli is Brown's first grandchild, and Rhain is now pregnant with her and Noah's second child. "Happy Dad's day, miss you Da," Noah captioned the throwback photo.
View this post on Instagram
Bear, 34, posted a photo of Brown wearing a NASA shirt. "I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Dad's day," Bear wrote. "Today is not an easy day for me, this is the first Dad's day that I don’t have my dad with me! I know he’s watching us from heaven, I just wish he was still here, so I could see him and tell him how much I love him and I wish I could hear his voice and his laugh! I am a dad myself now, but all I can think of today is how much I miss Da! Hold tight to those you love, you never know when it’s the time you’ll see them! I miss you Da, Happy Dad’s day! I love you more!"
Noah and Bear's posts received hundreds of comments from Alaskan Bush People fans who offered their condolences. Many also noted how difficult Father's Day can be without their fathers. "So sorry. Do something in his memory today. He was an awesome man for sure," one person wrote. "Your father is always with you Bear. He is in your heart, and is a part of who you are as a person," another commented. "You will see him again someday... Happy Fathers Day."
Brown died at the family's home in Washington on Feb. 7. Bear shared the news on Instagram first, with the Discovery Channel later confirming the news. The network also aired a tribute special called "The Legacy of Billy Brown" on Feb. 28. Discovery has aired Alaskan Bush People since the show debuted in May 2014. After Billy's death, Discovery called him a "trailblazer, a lovely man, and most definitely one of a kind."
Bear has been the most forthcoming with discussing his feelings with fans on his private Instagram page. Earlier this month, he marked his first birthday since Brown's death. Although the past year was difficult, Bear wrote that it taught him that every day is a blessing. "I wish I could talk with him again. I wish I could give him a hug! This year has been the hardest in my life," he wrote at the time. "I appreciate everyone who has stuck with me and with my family!"