’19 Kids and Counting’ Grandma, Mary Duggar, Dies of Accidental Drowning

The Duggar family is mourning the loss of “Grandma” Mary Duggar this week after her sudden passing on June 9.

Jill Dillard, the Duggar’s fourth oldest, took to Instagram Sunday with a touching tribute to her beloved grandmother.

“My heart breaks,” Jill wrote alongside a black and white photo of Mary holding the Dillard’s two young sons. “My grandma died suddenly today! She was an amazing woman of God and such a great example to so many!”

The post continued, “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!!”

A Great Loss

Details about the 78-year-old’s sudden death were not released until Wednesday when a Washington County coroner confirmed her passing was an accidental drowning at her home in Arkansas. She slipped and fell into a pool at her house in Springdale where her daughter, Deanna, found her and called 911.

News of Mary’s passing was first shared on the Duggar family’s Facebook page Sunday, in which they remembered her for the “tremendous life” she lived as a follower of Christ, “a devoted mother, a loving mother-in-law, and a much-loved grandmother.”

“We are so sad to share that Grandma Duggar (Mary) passed away Sunday afternoon, June 9th, 2019. 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 Duggar family wrote.

We are so sad to share that Grandma Duggar (Mary) passed away Sunday afternoon, June 9th, 2019. Mary Lester Duggar grew…

Posted by Duggar Family Official on Sunday, June 9, 2019

“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. She loved to share with others how they too could be forgiven of their sins, live a fulfilling life as a Christian, and one day spend eternity in heaven.”

The post went on to highlight Grandma Duggar’s successful career as a prime real estate broker and her greatest accomplishment of all — being “Grandma” to her 21 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

The matriarch of the Duggar family has appeared on TLC’s hit shows “19 Kids and Counting” and “Counting On” over the last 15 years, and was loved by many.

The Duggar Family Thanks Fans for Prayers and Support

“We’ve been really touched by the outpouring of support,” a rep for the Duggar family told Us Weekly. “More than a thousand people referred to her as America’s grandma which is a title we hadn’t even given her.”

The Duggars have created a page on their website where people can share their favorite memory of Grandma Mary.

The Duggar Family


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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!