19 Kids and Counting Wiki

Mary Leona Duggar (née Lester) (May 26, 1941 - June 9, 2019) was the daughter of William Lester and Ellen Lester.

She was the sister of Connie Beard, Billy Lester, and Tommy Lester.

She was the wife of Jimmy Duggar and the mother of their two children, Deanna and Jim Bob.

Early life

Mary Leona Lester was born on May 26, 1941, in Gentry, Arkansas, to William Lester and Ellen (Frankfather) Lester. She had three siblings.

She chose Christ when she was 15 years old.

Personal life


In November 1960, Mary married James Lee "J.L." Duggar in Washington County, Arkansas.


The couple has 2 children.

Their first child, daughter Deanna Lee, was born on July 8, 1962. She is divorced from Terry Jordan, with whom she has 1 child: Amy Rachelle (born September 30, 1986).

Their second child, son James Robert, was born on July 18, 1965. He is married to Michelle Ruark, with whom he has 19 children: Joshua James (born March 3, 1988), twins Jana Marie and John-David (born January 12, 1990), Jill Michelle (born May 17, 1991), Jessa Lauren (born November 4, 1992), Jinger Nicole (born December 21, 1993), Joseph Garrett (born January 20, 1995), Josiah Matthew (born August 28, 1996), Joy-Anna (born October 28, 1997), twins Jedidiah Robert and Jeremiah Robert (born December 30, 1998), Jason Michael (born April 21, 2000), James Andrew (born July 7, 2001), Justin Samuel (born November 15, 2002), Jackson Levi (born May 23, 2004), Johannah Faith (born October 11, 2005), Jennifer Danielle (born August 2, 2007), Jordyn-Grace Makiya (born December 18, 2008), and Josie Brooklyn (born December 10, 2009).


Through their 2 children, the couple has 25 great-grandchildren.

Their first grandchild, granddaughter Amy, is married to Dillon King, with whom she has 1 child: Daxton Ryan (born October 9, 2019).

Their second grandchild, grandson Joshua, is married to Anna Keller, with whom he has 7 children: Mackynzie Renée (born October 8, 2009), Michael James (born June 15, 2011), Marcus Anthony (born June 2, 2013), Meredith Grace (born July 16, 2015), Mason Garrett (born September 12, 2017), Maryella Hope (born November 27, 2019), and Madyson Lily (born October 23, 2021). The couple miscarried a child in 2010.

Their fourth grandchild, grandson John-David, is married to Abbie Burnett, with whom he has 1 child: Grace Annette (born January 7, 2020). They are expecting their second child, son Baby Boy Duggar-Burnett, due late Summer 2022.

Their fifth grandchild, granddaughter Jill, is married to Derick Dillard, with whom she has 3 children: Israel David (born April 6, 2015), Samuel Scott (born July 8, 2017), and Frederick Michael (born July 7, 2022). The couple miscarried a child, River Bliss, in October 2021.

Their sixth grandchild, granddaughter Jessa, is married to Ben Seewald, with whom she has 4 children: Spurgeon Elliot (born November 5, 2015), Henry Wilberforce (born February 6, 2017), Ivy Jane (born May 26, 2019), and Fern Elliana (born July 18, 2021). The couple miscarried a child in 2020.

Their seventh grandchild, granddaughter Jinger, is married to Jeremy Vuolo, with whom she has 2 children: Felicity Nicole (born July 19, 2018) and Evangeline Jo (born November 22, 2020). The couple miscarried a child, Halleli Grace, on November 26, 2019.

Their eighth grandchild, grandson Joseph, is married to Kendra Caldwell, with whom he has 3 children: Garrett David (born June 8, 2018), Addison Renee (born November 2, 2019), and Brooklyn Praise (born February 19, 2021).

Their ninth grandchild, grandson Josiah, is married to Lauren Swanson, with whom he has 1 child: Bella Milagro (born November 8, 2019). The couple miscarried a child, Asa, on October 4, 2018.

Their tenth grandchild, granddaughter Joy-Anna, is married to Austin Forsyth, with whom she has 2 children: Gideon Martyn (born February 23, 2018) and Evelyn Mae (born August 21, 2020). The couple miscarried a daughter, Annabell Elise, on June 26, 2019.

Their eleventh grandchild, grandson Jedidiah, is married to Katelyn Nakatsu, with whom he has 1 child: Truett Oliver (born May 2, 2022).


Real estate

Mary was a real estate broker and owned Good Neighbor Realty. She was noted in Northwest Arkansas for being the broker who put together the property sale for the John Q. Hammons Holiday Inn & Convention Center in Springdale, Arkansas.


Mary appeared on the TLC shows 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On, which focused on her son Jim Bob's large conservative family.


On June 9, 2019, Mary passed away suddenly at the age of 78 at her home in Springdale, Arkansas. On June 12, 2019, her cause of death was confirmed as an accidental drowning. She slipped and fell into a pool whilst unconscious.[1]

She was buried in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 17, 2019.