Alaskan Bush People star Billy Brown has died, People reports. Brown, who was known as the patriarch of the Brown family, died at age 68 on Sunday following a seizure.
“We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure,” Bear Brown, one of Billy’s sons, shared on Instagram with a photo of his parents. “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 continued. “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!”
Billy first appeared on Discovery‘s Alaskan Bush People in 2014, and starred on the show for 12 seasons before his death. The reality star, who was known for his fishing and hunting skills, grew up in Texas but later moved to Alaska with his wife, Ami, per TMZ. Together, they had seven children: five sons and two daughters.
The show’s official Twitter account paid tribute to Billy this afternoon. “We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown’s sudden passing,” they shared. “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 as they deal with this devastating loss.”
Billy’s daughter, Rainy Brown, shared her own message in memory of her late father on Instagram. “I lost a true friend. Not forever, but only in this world,” she wrote. “Please hold my family in your thoughts and prayers, especially my mother. 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 I love and miss you dearly. You will always be my hero. God bless everyone.”
Over the course of six years, Alaskan Bush People followed Brown and his family as they lived off the grid and in the wilderness. The most recent episode aired on Discovery in October, but the full series is now streaming on discovery+.