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 Billy Lester, Tommy Lester, and Connie Beard.

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


She passed away suddenly on June 9, 2019. On June 12, 2019, her cause of death was confirmed as an accidental drowning. Mary slipped and fell into a pool whilst unconscious.[1]

She was buried on June 17, 2019.

Several of the Duggar family members have paid tribute to Mary on their respective social medias.

Duggar Family Official - Facebook


"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.

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.

She is survived by her daughter Deanna and her son Jim Bob, 21 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, with several more great-grandchildren on the way!

Mary Duggar was also a successful real estate broker who owned Good Neighbor Realty and 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.

Grandma Mary Duggar has been on the TLC shows, "19 Kids & Counting" and "Counting On" with her family for over 15 years. She is greatly loved and will be missed so very much! She lived a tremendous life as a follower of Christ, a wife, a devoted mother, a loving mother-in-law, and a much-loved grandmother. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the virtuous woman, indeed she personified these beautiful verses with her life.

We deeply appreciate your prayers for our family and all who loved Mary during this time."[2]

Anna and Joshua Duggar - Instagram

"Great-Grandma Duggar went to heaven today to be with Jesus! 😭 What an awesome woman of faith and such a loving example of God’s love. She was a true soul-winner and loved everyone she met, telling them to turn from sin and trust Jesus for salvation! Miss her soooo much and we cherish each moment we were blessed to spend together! Lots of tears being shed here — grateful for all the prayers! 💕😭"[3]

Jill Dillard - Instagram


"My heart breaks 💔 My grandma died suddenly today! She was an amazing woman of God and such a great example to so many! 🌸 Grandma, you are greatly missed by all who knew you! 💕 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!! 😭💔#maryduggar #rip #grandmaduggar #safeinthearmsofjesus❤"[4]

Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth - Instagram

"06/09/19 Grandma Duggar... She was a strong woman, role model, godly counselor... and my favorite person to watch “The Price is Right” show with. She is GREATLY loved & missed!💖 Thank you all for your kind words and prayers for our family! #grandmaduggar #maryduggar #safeinthearmsofJesus"[5]

Jinger Vuolo - Instagram

"Yesterday, this precious woman went home to be with Jesus. Our hearts are broken, yet at peace, knowing that she is now in glory with her Savior. She was the best grandma, counselor, friend, woman of faith, bargain shopping buddy, McDonald’s fish sandwich lovin’ lady, who was always up for an adventure—whether across town or across the world! She loved the Lord more than anything, and thus shared the hope of Jesus Christ with everyone who crossed her path. She was always there for her family, and was so sacrificial in her service toward us. She will be greatly missed. Thank you for your prayers for our family during this immensely difficult time."[6]

Jeremy Vuolo - Instagram


"I love you, Grandma Duggar. Until we meet again..."[7]

Josiah and Lauren Duggar - Instagram

"Yesterday, our precious Grandma Duggar went to be with Lord. What amazing and godly woman-she has left quite an amazing legacy. It’s so sweet to know that not only is she with Jesus, but also she is with our sweet baby, Asa in heaven! #Grandmaduggar"[8]

Jana Duggar - Instagram

"Grandma Duggar will be greatly missed!! ❤️

On her last morning spent here on earth I drove Grandma to church where she worshiped her Savior. Later that afternoon, she went to meet Him face to face! I’d say that’s probably how she would’ve chosen to finish out the day if she got to pick. 😊

Grandma made a deep impact on each of our lives—first and foremost through her relationship with Jesus Christ, and secondly through her example of sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus with others! She would always be talking about the day she would see her Savior’s face and how much she looked forward to it! Yesterday was that day! She knew where she’d spend eternity and wanted everyone else to know that for themselves too. This song reminds me of Grandma’s life.

🎶 “When We See Christ” 🎶
Sometimes the day seems long,
Our trials hard to bear.
We’re tempted to complain,
to murmur and despair.
But Christ will soon appear
to catch his bride away!
All tears forever over
in God's eternal day! — IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL
Life's trials will seem so small
when we see Christ.
One glimpse of his dear face,
all sorrow will erase.

May we all be reminded to run this race of life looking at the Author and Finisher of our faith. "Only one life, twill soon be past—only what’s done for Christ will last." #grandmaduggar #leavingalegacy #weloveyou"[9]

Jessa Seewald - Instagram

"It didn’t matter who you were, she was “Grandma” to you. That’s most often how she would introduce herself. “Hi, I’m Grandma!” Everybody called her Grandma. She took a genuine interest in people. She would converse with you in a way that made you feel special and loved and cared about. She had a knack for remembering details, and the next time she saw you, she would inquire about things told to her in past conversations.

She was so excited about the many new great-grandbabies due this coming fall and winter, and it never got old for her. She welcomed each new baby with joy and would hold them with such tenderness and delight. We will keep her stories and memories alive for these little ones, but we’re sad that they will not have the blessing of knowing her in person as we have.

She was always available. When we kids were young, she would often babysit so Mom and Dad could go out on a date. If Mom needed something from the grocery store, she was happy to pick it up. She always had time for a conversation with the teenager and never passed over the toddlers either. Each one of us was made to feel valued and loved by Grandma. She was our biggest cheerleader, coming to every music recital, birthday party, and graduation celebration— and with 21 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids, that was quite a feat!

She was an exhorter. If we ever doubted our gifts or abilities, Grandma was there to spur us on. She’d pull the classic “grandma move” and have us putting on impromptu talent shows for complete strangers. “Why don’t you get up here and perform that song you’ve been working on?” “Aww, Grandma, really? Do I have to?” We’d say, glancing at mom, but we knew Mom would back her every time. We’d reluctantly get up and do a number, and it didn’t matter how terrible we thought we sounded, Grandma would beam with pride and start the applause. She believed in our gifts and abilities more than we did at times, and she spurred us on to do our best and to give God the glory for all our talents and achievements."[10]

Joseph and Kendra Duggar - Instagram

"We miss you so much Grandma! You were always there for all the birthdays and big events for our lives💝You lived such an example of what a godly woman and dedicated soul winner should look like! You hold such a special place in each of our hearts. We love you Grandma💕"[11]


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