Barbara ‘Babs’ Thore has died.
The lovable woman passed away Wednesday night according to her daughter, My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Way Thore. The younger Thore revealed her mother’s passing in an Instagram post Thursday afternoon. Immediately, thousands of fans delivered their well wishes and supportive messages from across the world. Babs was 76 years old.
Babs, who starred alongside Whitney in all ten seasons of the hit TLC show, was a larger-than-life personality on air. And that’s how Whitney remembered her mother in Thursday’s touching memorial tribute. Whitney opened the sad announcement by noting how Babs died at the exact same time of day as when she brought her beloved daughter into the world:
“My mother died last night just as the credits rolled on her favorite movie. Dad, Hunter, and I held her as she took her last breaths. It was 10:32pm, the same exact time she brought me into this world almost forty years ago.”
In the reveal about her mother’s passing, Whitney also explained how Babs suffered from cerebral amyloid angiopathy. That untreatable condition causes brain bleeding. In later stages it can lead to strokes and dementia.
Babs had been having strokes since at least 2017, according to her grieving daughter:
“My mom had cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which is an untreatable progressive condition caused by proteins in the blood vessels of the brain that can cause dementia, seizures, or like in my mom’s case, brain bleeding (hemorrhagic strokes). When mom had her first stroke in 2017, we were told of this and we knew that more strokes would eventually be inevitable. Mom’s second stroke was December 28, 2021 and her last was November 13, 2022.”
Still, her mom’s cause of death is secondary to her incredible life.
Whitney’s memorial post focused on Babs’ sweet nature. Noting her mother’s lovable knack for making memorable reality TV moments with the Thore family, Whitney wrote about how her mom’s personality was even better in person:
“My mother is our family’s greatest gift. We could never love, revere, or value another person more. If you’re reading this, you’re familiar with her magic: her southern charm, her hilarious sense of humor, her well-timed witty remarks, her beauty, and her ability to make everyone around her feel comfortable and cared for. But what you can’t possibly understand is the extent of my mother’s love — what you may have witnessed and felt through a TV screen is a minute fraction that, even if multiplied by a million, wouldn’t come close to ‘real life.’ That’s how enormous, how generous, and how all-encompassing my mother’s love was. I am the luckiest person on the planet to have been hers for almost 39 years.”
And the grieving young woman added more about the awful loss:
“We want to thank you for loving our mother. She delighted in her newfound television career more than we can describe! It gave her such a sense of purpose and excitement and something to look forward to every time the crew came around. This last year navigating life after her second stroke was, perhaps surprisingly, the best of our lives. We never had more fun or laughed as much as we did the past year. The support from all of you made her feel so loved and encouraged. We are unbelievably thankful that we’ve been able to share her with you and it is our hope that her memory will continue to be a source of comfort and happiness for the rest of your lives, just as it will be for ours.”
Our heart truly breaks here. So too do those of the show’s legion of loyal fans.
Whitney finished with a simple but poignant send-off:
“I love you, Mommy.”
What a terrible loss. It’s an incredibly sweet and well-written memorial tribute, for sure. But it’s also so heartbreaking, and such an awful thing to go through.
You can see Whitney’s full post, along with a series of pics from Babs’ long life (below):
Very, very sad.
In addition to her daughter Whitney, family matriarch Babs is survived by her husband Glenn and her son Hunter.
[Image via Whitney Way Thore/Instagram]