One of the central goals of Alaskan Bush People was to depict a way of life and a landscape that is unfamiliar to most viewers. The show follows Billy Brown and his wife Ami, along with their seven children, as they navigate life in rural Alaska. They lived in Hoonah, Alaska, or as the Brown family called it, "Browntown." Now, though, the Browns have left their Alaskan home for another part of the country.
What happened to Browntown?
The Browns decided to leave Alaska after Ami was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of lung cancer. Ultimately, they decided to move to a 435-acre estate in the North Cascade Mountains in Washington state. They made the decision to move so that Ami could be closer to Los Angeles for regular treatments and check-ups.
Although the decision to move the family for the sake of Ami made sense, it left many fans of the show wondering what the Browns had chosen to do with Browntown. Fans knew the home well, and when it seemed to have vanished from the show, they naturally wondered what happened. As it turns out, the Browns listed their old home for sale. When it was first listed, it was apparently priced at $795,000.
Billy Brown recently died at 68.
Billy, the patriarch of the family, died of a seizure on Feb. 7. Bear Brown, one of his sons, announced the news on Instagram.
“We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure," Bear wrote. "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."
"We plan to honor his legacy going forward and to continue with his dream," Bear's post continued. "We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time! God bless everyone!”
It's unclear whether the family plans to proceed with additional seasons of the show, but they plan to honor their father's legacy in whatever way they think is appropriate.
“We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown’s sudden passing. He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man, and most definitely one of a kind," Discovery posted on its Twitter account. “Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss.”
Billy was worth more than $6 million.
Although Billy's death leaves the rest of his family in mourning, he reportedly left them with plenty of money to survive. The family as a whole is worth roughly $60 million, and Billy was worth more than $6 million by himself. Every member of the family is paid for the show, and it has also served to raise their profiles.
Alaskan Bush People has a legion of devoted fans, many of whom are likely mourning Billy right alongside the Brown family.