As 2018 comes to a close, we're reflecting on the year as a whole. There have definitely been many, many highs — we welcomed nine new Housewives, after all — and some lows. One of the toughest parts of this year has been saying goodbye to the members of the Bravo family we've lost.
Some very important Bravolebs and their loved ones unfortunately passed away this year, and although nothing can replace them, it's comforting to honor their memories and reflect on how they impacted us. So as we prepare to close the chapter on 2018 and start anew in 2019, here are the Bravo family members we've lost throughout the year.
Bobby Zarin made his debut on Bravo during Season 1 of The Real Housewives of New York City. As the husband of RHONY 'Wife Jill Zarin, he was on the show from Seasons 1-4 and made an appearance on Season 9. Bobby was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2009, and his cancer returned in 2016 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was then hospitalized in July 2017 due to complications from his cancer and he continued to battle the disease throughout the year. Bobby passed away on Saturday, January 13 at the age of 71. At Bobby's unveiling ceremony earlier this month, nearly a year since he passed away, Jill paid tribute to her late husband: "I truly love you and miss you and will never ever forget the love we had. I hope you are at peace now and know you are watching over us," she wrote.
Lala Kent's Father, Kent Burningham
Lala Kent has a close relationship with her family. The Vanderpump Rules hostess previously wrote on Twitter, "My family is proud of me and will support me through anything & errythang-4 those of u who are wondering how they feel about my 'behavior.'" So she was understandably devastated when she announced the passing of her father, Kent Burningham, on April 23. She admitted at the time, "I’ve never felt so lost. I’ve never felt so sad. My world has crumbled."
Lala's tough year did have a bright spot, though, when she became engaged to Randall Emmett this past September. "Randall had told me that he had asked my dad permission to marry me earlier this year before my father passed away which is such an incredible gift because I lost my dad suddenly," Lala told PEOPLE. "I believe my father was definitely with us last night in spirit, which makes me even happier and our parents are thrilled!”
Jeff Lewis' Grandmother Patty
Jeff Lewis' grandmother Patty made appearances on Flipping Out throughout the seasons. Jeff said of their relationship in Season 6, when he remodeled her home, "My grandmother's my mother's mother, but my mom died when I was 18, and there's no one to really take care of her, watch her, so I've taken on that role because she was so good to me when I was a kid." So it was understandably difficult for him when Jeff announced that Patty passed away on Thursday, September 13. "I’m sad to say that my grandmother passed away today. You always taught me to speak my mind, so it’s your fault," he wrote in an Instagram post. "I love you."
Lisa Vanderpump's Brother, Mark Vanderpump
Lisa Vanderpump opened up about the passing of her brother, Mark Vanderpump, on the Season 7 premiere of Vanderpump Rules. She shared her experience of losing "my only sibling," her older brother by 16 months, after he "passed away through suicide" during the episode.
"For five weeks I stayed home. Obviously, just being the two of us, we were more like twins," she said on Vanderpump Rules. "It's been incredibly difficult, but we have to keep moving forward and make the people that were so important in our lives proud as they watch down over us."
Mark, age 59, reportedly passed away at his home Gloucestershire, England in late April. In May, Lisa confirmed his passing in a statement. "This has come as a shock to us all. My brother and I had connected the day before this tragedy and I was completely unprepared for this. He was my only sibling and I am shocked and saddened by his passing," The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills mogul said. "I am trying to be supportive to his two young sons that he has left behind, and help them get through this tragedy."
Mercedes 'MJ' Javid's Father, Shams Javid
On Season 6 of Shahs of Sunset, Mercedes "MJ" Javid opened up about her father Shams Javid's health struggles. This past May, she shared that her father had passed away. "It is with great regret that I share the news of my sweet father’s passing," she wrote an Instagram post. "Although this is something extremely personal for me and it’s taken some time to process, those of you who have followed my journey know how much I loved my father. I am comforted knowing he is in a better place now. I am so thankful for my mom [Vida], [husband] Tommy, my family and friends, who have been incredibly supportive through this greatest loss."
MJ also previously told The Huffington Post: “What a lot of people don’t know was that my dad was the ‘single mom’ raising me. He’s the quieter person not featured on the show. He has always been my best friend, the one who picked me up from school, nursery through college. My friends and I would walk over and tell my dad everything, so now talking about my dad is important to me."
MJ shared the news of her father's passing about a month after marrying husband Tommy Feight. The two also had some wonderful news to share during the eventful year: They are expecting their first child together. "Due on Mother’s Day! So excited to experience motherhood and all that comes with it," MJ shared on Twitter.
Anthony Bourdain wasn't technically a Bravoleb, but the TV personality and food connoisseur was a frequent judge on Bravo's Top Chef. Bourdain, also a chef and the host of Parts Unknown, died by suicide on June 8. His Top Chef friends were among the many to express their sadness about his death. Padma Lakshmi tweeted, "I just woke up to the horrible news about my friend @Bourdain. In shock and devastated. One of the most fun and wittiest men I knew. Tony you will be missed. RIP." She also told PEOPLE, “It’s obviously hard on all of us. He was great on Top Chef. He brought a breath of fresh air and a new energy and made it his own. He was very much himself. He made me laugh the whole time. He was like a swashbuckling pirate that just out of nowhere landed onto our judges table.”
And Gail Simmons issued a statement that read, "It's devastating on many levels. He was a friend and mentor, one of the great leaders of our industry, regardless of if I always agreed with him. It's a massive loss for us all. My heart breaks for his family, and for the multitude of friends and fans who loved him."
Karen Huger's Father, Benjamin B. Wooden Jr.
Karen Huger lost her mother, Georgia Raines Wooden, who passed away at the age of 71, on November 23, 2017. On June 28, 2018, The Real Housewives of Potomac grande dame also lost her father, Benjamin B. Wooden Jr., at the age of 74, after his battle with Alzheimer's disease. “There’s never enough time,” Karen told Page Six in a statement. “In my father’s memory, any donations to the Alzheimer’s Association are most appreciated.” Karen's mother also suffered from Alzheimer's disease, as did her mother-in-law. She hosted the O Charity Dinner on Season 3 of RHOP in an effort to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.
Bethenny Frankel's On-Off Boyfriend, Dennis Shields
Bethenny Frankel's on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields made his debut on The Real Housewives of New York City in Season 10. The two knew each other for nearly three decades before they began dating in 2016. This past August, Dennis passed away unexpectedly and later that month, Bethenny opened up about loss. "It’s hard to breathe & I appreciate you giving me the space & support to try to do so. It’s excruciating-sudden death is no closure & constant [questions] & memories," she tweeted. "Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw." She also shared that she is taking comfort in time with her daughter and dogs.
Kandi Burruss' Aunt Hazel
Right after Christmas, Kandi Burruss announced that her Aunt Hazel had passed away. On December 27, The Real Housewives of Atlanta pal took to Instagram to share the sad news. "I lost my Aunt Hazel this morning," she wrote. "Why does it always seem like we lose loved ones around the holidays? Please keep my family in your prayers."
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