The Duggar family is mourning the loss of Grandma Mary Duggar, who died suddenly on Sunday, they said. She was 78.
Mary, who was the mother of Counting On star Jim Bob Duggar, was featured frequently on both 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On, and had just celebrated her 78th birthday on the same day that her granddaughter, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, had welcomed her daughter Ivy last month.
The Duggar family announced her death on their official Facebook page but did not reveal a cause of death.
“We are so sad to share that Grandma Duggar (Mary) passed away Sunday afternoon, June 9th, 2019,” the Facebook post reads. “Mary Lester Duggar grew up in Farmington, Arkansas and was married almost 50 years to J.L. (Jimmy Lee) Duggar who preceded her in death…”
“She is survived by her daughter Deanna and her son Jim Bob, 21 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, with several more great-grandchildren on the way!” the post read. “Mary Duggar was also a successful real estate broker who owned Good Neighbor Realty… Grandma Mary Duggar has been on the TLC shows, 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On with her family for over 15 years.
“She is greatly loved and will be missed so very much! She lived a tremendous life as a follower of Christ, a wife, a devoted mother, a loving mother-in-law, and a much-loved grandmother. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the virtuous woman, indeed she personified these beautiful verses with her life.”
"We deeply appreciate your prayers for our family and all who loved Mary during this time," the post finished.
InTouch Weekly reports that it has long been rumored that Mary was responsible for the Duggar family's first TV special after she called several networks to gauge if their interested in the supersized family — although the Duggars have never confirmed that report.
The Duggars also took to their personal social media accounts to grieve.
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“Great-Grandma Duggar went to heaven today to be with Jesus!” Anna Duggar, Josh Duggar's wife, wrote on Instagram. “What an awesome woman of faith and such a loving example of God’s love. She was a true soul-winner and loved everyone she met, telling them to turn from sin and trust Jesus for salvation! Miss her soooo much and we cherish each moment we were blessed to spend together! Lots of tears being shed here — grateful for all the prayers.”
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“My heart breaks,” Jill (Duggar) Dillard wrote. “My grandma died suddenly today! She was an amazing woman of God and such a great example to so many! Grandma, you are greatly missed by all who knew you! She was a feisty, incredible woman who always took the time to talk about Jesus with everyone she knew! I know she was ready to check outta here and get her new body in heaven before the old one started giving her too much trouble! We miss you so much!!”
Fans paid condolences to the Duggar family matriarch on social media.
"So very sorry for your loss! Praying for you and your family. May God wrap his comforting arms around you all during this time. Heaven sure gets sweeter [every day]!" one Facebook user wrote.
"Sending love and prayers. She was a beautiful part of your family," another said.
"She was such a blessing to watch. She’s now in the arms of the savior. Praying for peace and comfort for your family," someone wrote.