Alma was the mother of nine children, one of whom, Paul, named his restaurant Alma Nove after her in 2010.
Losing a parent is difficult, especially to an illness like Dementia. The Wahlbergs are remembering their mom Alma Wahlberg who passed away recently at age 78. The matriarch was mom to 9 kids: Arthur, Paul, Jim, Robert, Donnie, Mark, Michelle, Debbie, and Tracey Wahlberg. Alma, who worked as a bank clerk and nurse’s aid, also appeared on the Wahlberg family's reality show on A&E called Wahlburgers, which provided a behind-the-scenes look at running a family restaurant. Paul, the celebrity chef who started Wahlburgers, also opened a restaurant named Alma Nove in Hingham, Massachusetts, in honor of his mother in 2010. Between 2014 and 2019, the mom-of-nine appeared on dozens of episodes of Wahlburgers, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Alma grew up in Boston and was married to Donald Wahlberg for 17 years. The two got married in 1965 but divorced later. According to PEOPLE, tragedy struck the family when he died in 2008 and another time when their daughter Debbie died in 2003. Many members of the Wahlberg family, including Mark and Donnie, paid tribute to Alma via social media.
Actor Mark Wahlberg shared a photo of his mother, writing, "My angel. Rest in peace." Son Donnie previously spoke about how the family was coping with her Dementia and shared on Instagram, "I know that so many of you have asked how my mom Alma is doing. During my visit, she didn’t remember much, and was often confused, but somehow she was still Alma. She still lights up a room. She still made me smile. She’s still stubborn. And she still loves her baby Donnie. I thank you all, for your well wishes. Sending my heartfelt love, and sincerest wishes, to all those away from their loved ones. That you will be together again. Love you all so much. See you soon." The New Kids on the Block musician more recently posted an emotional two-minute video in honor of her.
In a longer tribute to Alma posted on his Instagram, Donnie mentions that "she was, without a doubt, the most loving human being I’ve ever known." He continued saying, "Like so many moms who struggled, overcame odds, made something from nothing and pulled off the impossible for their children, she never complained. She did what needed to be done, most often, with a smile. She made the best of times in the worst of times. That was Alma — mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, friend, ally, warrior, angel. She made no apologies for who she was, but never put herself above anyone else. She kicked our butts if we messed up, kicked anyone else’s butts if they messed with us. Taught us right, made us pay the price when we were wrong."
Donnie's wife, Jenny McCarthy, The Masked Singer judge also posted a tribute. "To my sweet Alma. I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law. Always kind, always made me feel loved and she will always be an inspiration to so many... Love you so much Alma," she wrote on Instagram. Many fans will remember the spunky matriarch during her time on the family's reality show. In its pilot episode, each son wanted to know which one was their mother's favorite. "I am Alma's favorite. There is no question about it," Donnie told USA TODAY at the time. "Paul only substitutes when I am out of town. Mark can take solace in the fact that he was our dad's favorite," to which Paul said, "It depends on who's in the room." Their mom joked that her favorite was "whoever I'm with at the time." "They're all so unique in their own way. I'm really proud of them. Not just the success, but how they've turned out. They're really good people. I wouldn't care if they were ditch diggers, as long as they're good people."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Robert E. Klein