Wahlberg family matriarch Alma Wahlberg has sadly passed away at the age of 78. Her sons Mark and Donnie penned emotional tributes to her.
Mark Wahlberg and his family are in mourning after the death of their beloved family matriarch, Alma Wahlberg. The Entourage star shared a photo of his mom on April 19, announcing the sad news. “My angel. Rest in peace,” he captioned the photo. She was 78. The mother-of-nine became a reality TV favorite after her regular appearances on the family’s A&E series Wahlburgers. Here’s five things to know about her.
1. She sadly passed away at 78.
Her family revealed the news that she had died, in a series of social media tributes on April 18. A Boston native, she grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood, and married her husband in 1965. She raised all nine of her children in Boston, and worked as a bank clerk and nurse’s aide. In a 2011 family interview over dinner with Anderson Cooper in 2011, Alma revealed just how much she loved her family. “Listen, I didn’t know what I was doing. I really don’t think I knew what I was doing. I was just trying to keep up with them,” she said, adding, “I love my kids. I love my kids.”
2. She was battling dementia.
Former boy band member Donnie Wahlberg opened up about his mother’s deteriorating health in July 2020, revealed she had dementia. “I know that so many of you have asked how my mom Alma is doing. During my visit, she didn’t remember much, and was often confused, but somehow she was still Alma. She still lights up a room. She still made me smile,” the New Kids On The Block singer wrote. “She’s still stubborn. And she still loves her baby Donnie. I thank you all, for your well wishes.”
3. Donnie shared a long tribute to his mom.
The singer also penned a lengthy, heartfelt tribute to Alma, accompanied by a slideshow of photos and videos. “I’m so blessed to have been brought into this world by, raised by, taught by and set on my life’s path by, such an amazing woman. My mom Alma’s joy for life, love and people — combined with a pride in her humble beginnings and refusal to forget where she came from — undoubtedly shaped me into the man that I am,” he began.
“She was, without a doubt, the most loving human being I’ve ever known. I never heard her say, or do, anything disrespectful to anyone. She was, as anybody whoever came across her knows, true blue. Like so many moms who struggled, overcame odds, made something from nothing and pulled off the impossible for their children, she never complained. She did what needed to be done, most often, with a smile. She made the best of times in the worst of times.”
Donnie continued, “She was the epitome of the word grace. As a young boy, she’d invite me to sing her favorite song with her (“Native New Yorker” by Odyssey) as she cleaned our home. There’s no doubt that the two of us singing into a mop stick, while disco dancing on our ‘sparkling’ linoleum floor, helped inspire the dreamer in me — just like the dreamer in her. Her other favorite song, “If I Could” by Regina Belle, is the song that she danced with each of her children to, at their weddings. I surprised her at mine by having Ms Belle sing it to her. I did so because, despite the fact that my mom could do (and actually did) many of the things mentioned in that beautiful song, she still wondered if she’d done the job of being the best mother she could be. Today, I say with tremendous certainty, and gratitude, she absolutely did. It’s time to rest peacefully, mom. I love you, miss you, thank you and will celebrate you, today and always. Forever — your Baby Donnie.”
4. Alma had nine children.
Along with her famous sons Mark and Donnie, Alma shared seven other kids with her husband Donald Wahlberg. The pair were married for 17 years and had Arthur, Paul, Jim, Robert, Michelle, Debbie and Tracey. Donald died in 2008, and their daughter Debbie sadly died in 2003. Paul, who was the executive chef behind Wahlburgers, also opened a restaurant in Hingham, Massachusetts in 2010 named Alma Nova in honor of his beloved mom.
5. She was a regular fixture on the reality show ‘Wahlburgers’.
Alma often appeared on the reality show Wahlburgers, which ran from 2014 to 2019. It followed the family as they worked at their Boston-based burger chain, and included appearances from their childhood friends — some of whom even inspired the Entourage characters. “I was very hesitant and nervous at first,” Alma told USA TODAY in 2014 of being on camera. Nevertheless, her sons convinced her. “They said, ‘You can talk to a wall, Ma. You won’t have any trouble.’”
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