The Tragic Death Of Alaskan Bush People's Billy Brown

Alaskan Bush People star and family patriarch, Billy Brown, died on Feb. 7, 2021, after experiencing a seizure, his son Bear Brown confirmed on Instagram. The proud father was only 68 years old at the time of his death.

"We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure," Bear, whose Instagram is private, wrote, according to a screenshot of the post. "He was our best friend – a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will be dearly missed. He lived his life on his terms, off the grid and off the land and taught us to live like that as well." He lightly touched on how the family his holding up following Billy's death, writing, "We plan to honor his legacy going forward, and to continue with his dream. We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time! God bless everyone!!!" 

Before his death, Billy was dealing with several medical issues, as The Sun reported. Keep scrolling for more information.

Billy Brown had surgery to address his health issues

Ahead of Billy Brown's death, the family patriarch was reportedly "in and out of the hospital" in the last several years, according to The Sun. The outlet noted how Billy had been diagnosed with a heart problem, making it difficult for him to breathe. When all of this was going on, the Browns were living on a mountain in Washington state. "[Billy] was previously told by medical professionals that the high altitude wasn't good for him, he decided to defy doctor's orders and continue to live in the mountains with his family," The Sun reported. The patriarch underwent surgery in 2019, but, despite the operation, Bear Brown said his dad still needed more testing, per Soap Dirt.

Sadly, this isn't the first time the Brown family has experienced hardshipBilly's wife and family matriarch, Ami Brown, was previously diagnosed with cancer, forcing the family to temporarily relocate to California to be closer to her treatments at UCLA Medical Center. Ami is now in remission as of this writing, although she only had a 3% chance of survival at the time.

In addition to his wife, Ami, Billy is survived by his seven kids and three grandchildren. 

Fans react to Billy Brown's death

After the news of Billy Brown's death broke, many fans took to social media to share their thoughts. "Wishing his family the very best," one person tweeted, while someone else said, "Rest well! Liked being entertained by #AlaskanBushPeople praying for his wife and children." Another fan seemed to reference the future of Alaskan Bush People, wondering, "Sad I love that show I wonder will the Family come back." Photographer Jason Elias chimed in, "Saddened to hear of the passing of Billy Brown. I first met Billy when I shot @AlaskanBushPPL for @Discovery many years ago, & after working with him multiple times, I came to know him as a kind, strong and caring father, a true patriarch. My thoughts go out to the Brown Family."

Speaking of ABP, it's unclear whether the show will return for Season 13 on Discovery. In the meantime, fans can watch Season 12, which aired its finale in October 2020.

If the series does return, it has a lot to cover in addition to Billy's death, including Bear Brown's February 2021 reconciliation with his fiance, Raiven Adams. Raiven and Bear welcomed their son, River, in March 2020. However, it's ultimately up to the Browns regarding whether they continue to showcase their lives. 

Billy and Ami Brown had an unbreakable bond

Before Billy Brown's death in February 2021, he was afraid to lose his wife, Ami Brown, to cancer. When asked about what it was like to move from Alaska to California for Ami's cancer treatments, Billy was forthcoming about his love for Ami. "We talk a lot about wanting freedom in our lives. That's why we moved out there," he explained to People in 2017. "But the freedom is all right here [with Ami.] Freedom is having a family so strong and so with you that you can get through anything. Freedom is being with your family. I can't lose that. I can't live without her. I can't lose her."

Fortunately for Billy and his children, Ami recovered. However, now Ami must face the loss of her longtime husband. Although Ami hasn't released a statement as of this writing, the couple's daughter, Rainy Brown, has alluded to her state of mind. "Please hold my family in your thoughts and prayers, especially my mother," Rainy shared on Instagram.

We wish the Brown family well amid this difficult time.