Those who have followed the Duggars since their 19 Kids & Counting days (and maybe even when they had 17 and 18 kids) were probably heartbroken to discover that a beloved family member has died. Grandma Mary — who regularly appeared on their various reality TV series — died suddenly over the weekend. In the wake of this sad news, many fans might be wondering: Was Mary Duggar married?
As People reported, Mary Duggar died unexpectedly on Sunday evening. The sad news was announced on the Duggar family's official Facebook page — and the loving tribute to Grandma Mary answered the question of her marital status almost immediately: she was widowed in 2009.
“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.”
The remembrance focused in large part on her relationship with Christianity: “Mary found great joy in sharing her love for Jesus and her own story of how at age 15 she asked Christ to forgive her for her sins. It was at that time she committed the rest of her life to live for Him, a commitment she kept with devotion.”
The post went on to detail Grandma Duggar's legacy — becoming a successful real estate broker and 15-year-fixture on the TLC shows 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On. (In the video below, you can see Mary "in action" when she babysat the younger Duggar children.)
"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," the Duggar family wrote on Facebook. "We deeply appreciate your prayers for our family and all who loved Mary during this time."
Surrounded by family, Mary outlived her husband by a decade. Back during the days of 18 Kids & Counting, I remember when JL made appearances on the series alongside his wife. TLC showed how Grandpa Duggar's death in 2009 impacted the family during an 18 Kids & Counting episode.
Various members of the Duggar family took to social media to share moving tributes for Mary. Jinger Vuolo shared a photo of herself, Mary, and baby Felicity, writing, "She was the best grandma, counselor, friend, woman of faith, bargain shopping buddy, McDonald’s fish sandwich lovin’ lady, who was always up for an adventure — whether across town or across the world!"
Joy-Anna Forsyth also posted a photo of herself next to Grandma Mary, writing, "She was a strong woman, role model, godly counselor... and my favorite person to watch “The Price is Right” show with. She is GREATLY loved & missed!💖 ."
Meanwhile, Jill Dillard shared a picture of Mary holding Israel and Samuel, writing, "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!"
Cousin Amy (Duggar) King — who is expecting her first child with husband Dillon King — shared a photo montage of Mary writing, "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... "
As someone who has followed the Duggars for basically the entire time they've been on TLC, I know I was saddened by the news of Mary Duggar's passing. So I can only imagine how her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are feeling in the wake of her sudden death. My heart goes out to them.