Putting your life in the spotlight and your family at the center of the reality television landscape comes with its obvious hardships. TLC's Little People, Big World has been on the air for a whopping 16 years, and there's no concrete sign that it's slowing down. The series follows the Roloff family — several of the members having dwarfism (i.e. Matt, Amy, and their son Zach) — as they face the struggles of living in a world built for average-sized people.
Viewers watch them both fail and succeed, and they get an inside look into the juicy Roloff family drama. Now on Season 23, Matt Roloff and Amy Roloff are divorced, the kids are grown up — things are different than they were in 2006. Not only that, but said patriarch and farmer just lost his own beloved father. Because he's lived his life in the spotlight for over a decade, Matt did what he knew best: He opened up about his dad's death on Instagram. So, how did he pass away?
What is Matt Roloff's dad's cause of death?
"A sad week for the Roloff Family. My dad, affectionately known as 'Papa' to his 10 grandchildren and his 10 great grandkids, peacefully went home to be with his Lord and Savior yesterday evening," Matt Roloff wrote in an Instagram post. "Ron was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and inspiration to many. He literally loved people, and anyone who ever came in contact with him knows that!"
"Some of his last words to me were telling me how proud he was of the things I had accomplished … then he quoted, 'My Father’s house has many rooms; Jesus said ... I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3),'" he continued.
Ronald "Papa" James Roloff was 84 years old at the time of his death.
Per People, Matt revealed via social media in July 2021 that his father was suffering with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
"It’s truly a scary moment in life when you find out your parents are needing all the prayers they deserve," Matt explained in another Instagram post. He seems to use social media to vent about his issues — hey, don't we all?
"My mom, just 79 years old (Huny), and my dad, 82 years old (Papa), are going through some serious medical challenges ... mom needs more physical therapy after a bad fall. And dad needs serious chemo treatment for CLL blood cancer. Please wish them both speedy recoveries and lots of prayers for the Lord's healing hand to touch them and continue to keep their unbelievable grace and unshakable spirts alive and well … they will endure!" the post continued.
Though Matt hasn't clarified that his father died of cancer, we can only assume that that is what led to his passing. Our thoughts are with the Roloff family during this difficult time.
Stream Season 23 of Little People, Big World on TLC's website and Discovery Plus.