RHONY Star Jill Zarin's Husband Bobby Dies After Battle with Cancer
Bobby Zarin passed away after a battle with thyroid cancer
Jill announced the news in a family statement on her official website, revealing that Bobby died on Saturday surrounded by his family.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer,” the family said in a statement. “There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone for all your love, and support during this difficult time.”
His stepdaughter Aly Shapiro remembered him in a touching Instagram post also on Saturday, sharing a gallery of photos of the two over the years.
“We ❤️ Bobby…” she wrote. “Thank you for giving me such a wonderful family and being the most incredible step-Dad anyone could ever ask for. I don’t remember a time without you, and you will not be forgotten. Every shot of patron, every time we listen to Hotel California, every vroom of a Ferrari you will be right there with us. You fought with dignity and courage, surrounded by all of us with love and respect till the very end. You can rest In peace now, we love you so much.”
She also provided service details, which will be held Monday, Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. at Riverside Memorial in New York City.
Bobby was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2009 and went on to have his thyroid removed as well as underwent radioactive iodine treatment.
“The radioactive iodine usually kills off whatever undetectable cancer cells are left in your body after surgery,” he previously told PEOPLE. “We thought it was cured – and it usually is in about 93 percent of cases. But I wasn’t able to absorb the radioactive iodine. So it came back.”
The cancer wound up returning and spread to his lungs. In Fall 2016, Jill revealed to PEOPLE that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent Gamma Knife Radiosurgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Although the Real Housewives of New York City alum remained hopeful throughout Bobby’s treatment, she said “his cancer took an unexpected turn” over the summer. In July, Bobby was admitted to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he recovered from a procedure.
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After he was admitted to the hospital in July, Jill hadn’t left his side and did everything she could to make him comfortable.
“I’m in shock,” she said. “I’m in physical shock. I’ve lost 8 lbs. already. He was doing well for a very, very long time. Then the cancer came back in his brain last fall and since then, it’s been one thing after another.”
As Bobby’s treatment continued, Jill remained dedicated to raising money for thyroid cancer research for him and others who have the deadly disease through her Annual Luxury Luncheon, which was opened to the public for the first time last year.
Last January, the couple celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary. “Happy 16th wedding Anniversary to the most wonderful husband, father and friend in the world. I love you with all my ❤❤❤ we will get thru this and be together forever,” Jill wrote about her husband.
And in celebration of his birthday last February, Jill posted multiple photos of Bobby on Instagram with loving captions. “I’m so happy and at peace these days with the love of my life living La Vida Boca!” she wrote.
“He is the most loving and caring person I have ever known besides my father. Sometimes life just isn’t fair,” she previously told PEOPLE about Bobby. “But we have such a great love story. He is the love of my life and I will do everything in my power to heal and care for him.”
Bobby ran Zarin Fabrics, which was opened by his father, Harry Zarin, in 1936. The New York native is survived by Jill, his three children — Jonathan, David and Jennifer Zarin — and stepdaughter, Ally.