Fans of the reality television show are in mourning this week after Billy Brown, who started on twelve seasons of the program, passed away on Sunday. He was 68 years-old.
illy’s death was confirmed by his son, Bear, who wrote on Instagram that his family is “heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure.”
“He was our best friend – a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will be dearly missed,” Bear added. “He lived his life on his terms, off the grid and off the land and taught us to live like that as well.
“We plan to honor his legacy going forward, and to continue with his dream,” he continued. “We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time. God Bless Everyone!”
Billy’s 18 year-old daughter Rain paid tribute to him on Instagram as well, describing her father as “the closet thing to an angel I’ve ever known.”
“I lost a true friend. Not forever, but only in this world. Please hold my family in your thoughts and prayers, especially my mother,” Rain wrote. “Please hold your family tight for me. Words cannot express how wonderful he was and is. But I will say, the closest thing to an angel I’ve ever known. God bless you da [sic] I love and miss you dearly. You will always be my hero. God bless everyone.”
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A spokesperson for the Discovery Channel, which is the network behind “Alaskan Bush People,” confirmed Billy’s death in a statement to People Magazine.
“We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown’s sudden passing,” a spokesperson for Discovery said. “He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man and most definitely one of a kind. Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss.”
TMZ reported that Billy was an avid hunter who was born in Texas. He was only 16 years-old when his mother, father, and sister were killed in a plane crash.
Billy met his wife Ami in Texas, and they soon decided to move to Alaska, where they raised their five sons and two daughters. Billy will be dearly missed by his family, as well as by millions of fans from all over the world.