Billy Brown, the patriarch of Discovery Channel reality show Alaskan Bush People, has died at the age of 68 on Sunday, February 7, according to a social media post from his son .
"We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure," Bear wrote on his private Instagram account. "He was our best friend — a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will be dearly missed."
"He lived his life on his terms, off the grid and off the land and taught us to live like that as well," he added. "We plan to honor his legacy going forward, and to continue with his dream. We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time. God Bless Everyone!"
The late Brown had worked for the series since 2014. "We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown's sudden passing," a spokesperson for Discovery said in a statement to PEOPLE. "He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man and most definitely one of a kind. Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss.'
The family has had its share of tragedy of late. Brown family matriarch Ami was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in 2017 which resulted in the family relocating from their rural homestead to Washington state in order for her to receive the necessary treatments. Miraculously, in late 2018 she reported that she was cancer free.
Ami Brown at the time told PEOPLE that she was hoping to beat it. "I was expecting great news," she said. "I could just feel it."
Meanwhile, her late husband, also at the time, admitted that it was a close call. "The doctors were as shocked as we were," he told the outlet.