Wahlberg Family Matriarch Alma Dead at 78 After Facing Dementia: 'Epitome of the Word Grace,' Says Donnie
The Wahlbergs are mourning the loss of their beloved matriarch Alma. She was 78.
On Sunday, Mark Wahlberg shared a photo of his mother Alma Wahlberg died. "My angel. Rest in peace," the actor, 49, wrote.
His brother, New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg previously shared that their mother, who was a beloved star of the family's A&E series Wahlburgers, was suffering from dementia.
"For Alma 🙏🏼🕊❤️ 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," Donnie wrote on Instagram along with a nearly two-minute video in tribute to his mother.
"I've often said, if you like anything about me, I got it from Alma. I say that, because it's true. 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," he continued.
"That was Alma — mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, friend, ally, warrior, angel. She made no apologies for who she was, but never put herself above anyone else. She kicked our butts if we messed up, kicked anyone else's butts if they messed with us. Taught us right, made us pay the price when we were wrong," Donnie wrote. "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."
Donnie concluded, "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."
Donnie's wife, Jenny McCarthy also posted a tribute. "To my sweet Alma. I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law. Always kind, always made me feel loved and she will always be an inspiration to so many.. Love you so much Alma," The Masked Singer judge wrote on Instagram.
In July 2020, the singer, 51, shared a message to his followers about the deteriorating health of his mother.
"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," he wrote then. "She's still stubborn. And she still loves her baby Donnie. I thank you all, for your well wishes."
"Sending my heartfelt love, and sincerest wishes, to all those away from their loved ones," he added then. "That you will be together again. Love you all so much. See you soon.🙏🏼❤️"
Alma was the mother of nine children Arthur, Paul, Jim, Robert, Donnie, Mark, Michelle, Debbie and Tracey Wahlberg alongside Donald Wahlberg, to whom she was married to for 17 years. (He died in 2008. Their daughter Debbie died in 2003.)
Paul, who's the celebrity chef behind Wahlburgers, also opened a restaurant named Alma Nove in Hingham, Massachusetts, in honor of his mother in 2010.