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‘Little People, Big World’ on TLC: Here are all the tragic deaths in the Roloff Family

The Roloffs have experienced their fair share of tragedy as many of thier loved ones have died over the years
Amy Roloff lost her dog Felix in 2017 while Ronald 'Papa' James Roloff died in  July (amyjroloff, mattroloff/Instagram)
Amy Roloff lost her dog Felix in 2017 while Ronald 'Papa' James Roloff died in July (amyjroloff, mattroloff/Instagram)

PORTLAND, OREGON: Fans who have watched ‘Little People, Big World’ since it first premiered in 2006, have followed the Roloff family for almost two decades. Watching Matt and Amy Roloff’s children grow up, viewers have grown quite attached to the couple and their family, and thinking of harm coming their way surely sounds alarming. So have there been any deaths in the family? Here’s what we know.

Fortunately for fans, none of the Roloffs have died. So fans can be rest assured that Matt, Amy, Zach, Tori, Jeremy, Audrey, Jacob, Isabel and Molly, along with Joel Silvius, Chris Marek and Caryn Chandler, are all in good health. However, the protagonists of the light-hearted series have definitely had to deal with their fair share of deaths, as many close relatives of the family have died till now. From Matt’s father, Ronald, to Amy’s dog Felix, the family has experienced some devastating deaths in the past. Here are all the deaths the Roloff Family have dealt with so far.


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Matt’s father, Ronald “Papa” James Roloff

Ronald Roloff, aka Ronald “Papa” James Roloff, was Matt’s father, who died in July. The grandfather of 10, was with his wife, Peggy, and surrounded by family during the final hours of his death. Devastated by his father’s death, Matt took to social media to post a heartfelt message as a tribute to Ronald. “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 wrote in August, announcing the tragic news. He further added, “What a man and a life well lived! Thanks to all the grandchildren that were able to race to his bedside and hold his hands with mom and I in his final moments here on earth!!”


Matt’s brother Josh Roloff

Josh, Matt’s younger brother, died at the age of 34. Josh was diagnosed with severe heart and lung problems at a very young age and succumbed to the illness in 1999. The Roloffs expressed their love to Josh by dedicating their book ‘Little Family, Big Values’ to his memory as the family wrote, “A great son, brother, uncle and friend who was with us in this life for far too short a time. We all miss you and think of you every day, and we look forward to being reunited with you one day in the presence of our Lord.”


Amy’s Mother Patricia Knight

Amy experienced severe loss when her mother, Patricia Knight, died just weeks after the former’s engagement to Chris. The star wrote in an Instagram post, “The last two weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Happy and sad. Chris asked me to marry him and I couldn’t be happier. So sad because a few days later my father told me mom was in the hospital and a day later my sister told me mom had passed away. She died on the 24th. My heart broke, I cried and sadness came upon me. I didn’t know what emotions to feel.”


Isabel’s brother Tomas Garreton

Jacob Roloff’s wife, Isabel, was shattered when her brother Tomas Garreton died in 2012 in a train accident. The ‘Little People, Big World’ star took to Instagram to share the news. “He’ll know all about you. How you used to make me laugh every time that I cried. How you wrote some damn good songs before you died,” Isabel wrote in August 2021, vowing to make sure her son would know all about his uncle. She added, “My son will know all about you, Uncle Tomas.”


Isabel’s mother Toni Garreton

Just two years later, Isabel faced another heartbreaking tragedy as her mother, Toni Garreton, died. Toni had been battling breast cancer and succumbed to the disease in 2014. “Grief is an interesting beast. You can be fine one minute and the next you’re driving down a road in your hometown that you drove countless times with your mother, and the ache hits you so hard you have to slam on your brakes,” Isabel penned in September 2014. “I swear I could smell her perfume in that moment. Hear her laugh. All of it means I loved her well. Knew her well. All of the memories come flooding back because they were mine to keep of her. We were inseparable. And this road I drove with her I will drive many times again and miss her, all the same, each time.”


Tori and Zach’s dog Sully

The couple’s family dog, Sully, died around March 2017 due to liver cancer. Heartbroken, the duo wrote, “Losing sully has been incredibly hard on both zach and I and I think we’re both just waiting for the loneliness to subside.” While also adding, “We’ll never have another friend like #inspectorsullivan but we do look forward to the day we’re able to give another Berner a forever home.”


Amy’s dog Felix

Amy lost her beloved dog, Felix, only weeks before her wedding. Amy opened up about her canine companion’s death on Instagram, writing alongside photos of the pup, “This is a hard post for me. Im not even sure what to say.” The post further read, “My little fella Felix fell suddenly ill and past away the Thursday Before our wedding in August. With my wedding two days away I didn’t have time to grieve. I was devastated and couldn’t believe he was gone.”